Senate GOP health care bill vote: The whip count

Angie Massey
June 26, 2017

WASHINGTON-Senate Republican leaders pushing for a vote this week on a bill to rework the US health-care system juggled objections from all corners of the GOP caucus over the weekend, with issues such as Medicaid and insurance regulations remaining key holdups. GOP Senator Susan Collins of ME, who has not yet said she will vote against the bill, expressed reservations towards it to news outlets today. I hope I'm not lying to myself.

This brings us to Lie Two: This bill is primarily about improving health care for American families.

Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, a Republican primary opponent in 2016, also opposes the Senate plan, telling CNN that "the total number of dollars that are going to be dedicated to Medicaid are not enough". "I want to see a bill with heart", he added. A completely different coalition is available, but Republicans don't want to activate it because they are hell-bent on repealing Obamacare. Why?

Collins, a center-right Republican, allowed for the possibility that the Senate could work late during an open amendment process and said she would withhold a final decision on the bill until the Congressional Budget Office issues an assessment on its effects, which is expected in the coming days. "I'd like to say love, but like". Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Mike Lee of Utah in saying they can not support the bill as presented but are open to changes to more fully repeal former President Barack Obama's ACA. He said he feels "a sense of urgency" to push forward because the health care system is in "full meltdown mode".

President Donald Trump said of senators weighing the health care bill, "I don't think they're that far off", in a "Fox & Friends" segment that aired Sunday, June 25, 2017.

"We're trying to hold him back a little bit", Cornyn said with a smile.

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Conservative Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he is opposing the Senate bill because it "is not anywhere close to repeal" of the Affordable Care Act.

'We have a very good plan, and we have a few people that are, I think you could say modestly, they're not standing on the roof and screaming, they want to get some points, I think they'll get some points'.

"I don't have the feedback from constituencies who will not have had enough time to review the Senate bill", Johnson said. "Famous last words right?"

Paul said he could get to a yes, if the bill went farther to repeal ObamaCare rules that drive up premiums.

Republicans have endlessly cataloged problems with the Affordable Care Act, which they deride as "Obamacare", but party leaders face a bigger challenge now as they try to convince wavering Republican senators and a skeptical public that they have a better plan. "I think we're going to get there".

The concern with this language is that this $50 billion will be used to bail out health insurance companies that participated in ObamaCare or used to encourage to participate in this Republican version of ObamaCare. Johnson spoke on NBC's "Meet the Press".

Other reports by GizPress

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