Senate GOP aiming for vote this month on health legislation

Jun 07, 2017, 10:49

"We're getting close to having a proposal to whip and to take to the floor", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters, after almost three hours of closed-door meetings.

"I've always believed let Obamacare collapse. that has always been my preferred route", Graham said, according to the Washington Examiner. In the event of a 50-50 vote, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the tiebreaker.

The House bill would cut Medicaid by $834 billion over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

"The one thing I will say is you see the news coming out of OH, the same news that we heard in Iowa - more and more Americans are losing their health care the longer that Obamacare stays in place, and that's why to me time is of the essence", he told reporters. Were I a betting man, I'd be betting that we'll get to the beginning of August when the recess begins with no health care reform bill, no tax reform bill, a Fiscal Year 2018 budget that is so incomplete that people will likely be talking about the risk of a government shutdown, and a White House largely paralyzed by the Russian Federation investigation and a President with a Twitter habit that continually undercuts whatever agenda his aides are trying to push on a given day.

"Leadership is stepping in now and making clear that this is what they all campaigned on, so they need to go now or move on", the aide said.

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"Many in Washington and the media look at the enormous health crises that we have facing Tennessee and the country today and they say, 'we can't afford to change our nation's health care policies at a time like this, '" Price said at the event by Healthy Tennessee and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

Elected pledging to overhaul the healthcare system and slash taxes, Trump has yet to notch a major legislative win, and time is running out before lawmakers leave Washington for August. The Senate bill might keep the expansion in place beyond that date, said Republican Senator John Barrasso.

"There is a concerted effort and will be a concerted effort to stabilize the market", said Sen. Senator Ron Johnson asked. The Senate has only a few more working weeks this summer, and when it returns this fall it has to deal with impending government funding and debt ceiling fights.

In the Senate, Republicans' slim 52-48 majority gives them little room for error on health care and taxes, issues where they are using complicated procedural rules to move ahead with simple majorities and no Democratic support.

Despite years of promises to get rid of Obama's health law, Republicans have discovered that doing so is much more hard than anticipated.

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The House narrowly passed its own version of legislation to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's health care law last month. The CBO said May 25 that Republicans' revised bill would undermine insurance markets in some states and result in 23 million more people without insurance. These are the very parts of the AHCA that were changed in order to garner just enough support to get the AHCA through the House, and changing them significantly is likely to make it problematic for Republicans to get support from members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Morning Group. For example, it's expected the Senate legislation would set a limit on future federal spending for Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for low-income people.

Trump, who earlier this year lashed out at House Republicans for initially balking at a repeal effort, put light pressure on the Senate during the meeting. Some Republican governors have proposed that the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women and children be exempted from any cap.

Other options include shoring up the insurance exchanges, but senators could get tripped up as they decide whether to include House-passed language that prohibits subsidies for insurance plans that include abortion coverage. But senators are also considering other factors, such as income and where a person lives.

"I don't think this gets better over time", Sen. John Kennedy, a first-term Republican from Louisiana.

"The areas we have consensus on?" Republicans are not only divided on policy over the Obamacare repeal - they're also fighting internally about how quickly they want to get the bill done, with many who have concerns with the bill urging leaders to slow down.

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