Nevada Republican Senator Wavers On Health Care Bill

Danny Woods
June 25, 2017

The nuts and bolts of legislation and the maddening, unpredictable ways and rhythms of Congress can seem foreign to him.

Now, facing an enormous challenge in the Senate on health care, Trump and his team are opting for a hands-off approach on legislation to dismantle the "Obamacare" law, instead putting their faith in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver a legacy-defining victory.

He said the bill would also jeopardize addiction treatment programs for people with opioid addictions.

But the Senate bill, like the version of the legislation passed by the House in May, also fundamentally transforms the structure of Medicaid spending going forward.

Former President Barack Obama spoke against political divide between Democrats and Republicans and urged lawmakers to blur party lines to act in the interests of the American people.

Trump publicly celebrated the House bill's passage, only to criticise it in private as "mean".

Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) are sticking together to get changes such as fewer government subsidies created to make health insurance more affordable.

"I can not support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans", Heller said at a news conference back in Nevada. He took to Twitter to boast of passing 38 bills thus far. "I don't want that life no more", Sanchez said. "The poor need health care, the elderly need health care, the disabled need health care, we can't have these cuts". "If he sees somebody on TV and he thought they did something good, he'll pick up the phone and just call them directly".

"I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what's really at stake and consider that the rationale for action, on healthcare or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did", he wrote.

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This nearly certainly captures the attitude most Senate Republican will adopt, probably without a whole lot of effort. That message was at odds with Trump's Rose Garden celebration after the bill cleared the House, when he told lawmakers it was a "great plan".

"When otherwise has this been done?" said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a Republican and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. If three of the Senate Republicans' 52 members oppose the bill, it will fail.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller on Friday became the fifth person to oppose the bill, saying that he could not support the current draft either. Ben Ray, a senior communications adviser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said in a post on Twitter that Heller's video footage from Friday's press conference is "already clipped and saved".

Trump helped House leaders corral votes, but his ability to move more difficult-to-influence senators is untested. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the centrist has some misgivings about the bills as well.

On Thursday, as details of the bill emerged, Wall Street breathed a sigh of relief, pushing up a broad range of health care-sector stocks, including insurer UnitedHealth Group (UNH), hospital group HCA Healthcare (HCA) and drugmaker Merck (MRK).

Besides the five who've announced outright opposition, several other GOP senators - conservatives and moderates - have declined to commit to the new overhaul.

"We said that what we need to do is fix the things that are wrong with the ACA, and that is the exchanges - costs went up too high in exchanges and a lot of reasons for that, including sabotage by Trump and also by Republicans", Franken said. But he put the fate of the bill in McConnell's hands.

There are a few distinctions, though I wouldn't call them real differences.

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