Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

GOP Senators Lay Out Demands on Health Bill

GOP Senators Lay Out Demands on Health Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks on to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017, following a meeting with Senate Republicans on a health reform bill. Bob Casey returned to the state on Friday to hammer the Republican health care bill in the U.S. Senate, saying it poses a foundational retrenchment of Medicaid that could have a dramatic, long-term effect on American society.

Echoing the other four, Heller said he opposes the measure "in this form" but does not rule out backing a version that is changed to his liking.

Unless those holdouts can be swayed, their numbers are more than enough to torpedo the measure developed in private by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and deliver a bitter defeat for the president.

So far five Republican senators have announced their opposition.

GOP Senate leaders can only lose two members of their 52-senator caucus in support of the bill in order for it to pass. Heller said he spoke with Senate Republican leaders and Vice President Mike Pence on Friday morning.

A spokesman for Arizona's current governor, Republican Doug Ducey, said the governor was studying the GOP bill.

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Collins, who also opposes proposed cuts to Planned Parenthood, said she would await an analysis Monday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office before taking a final position on the bill. "There's still an opportunity to make this bill better", he said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was urging Democrats to post stories on social media on constituents whose health care coverage would be threatened. He says the bill offers too many tax credits that help poorer people to buy insurance. It would also slap annual spending caps on the overall Medicaid program, which since its inception in 1965 has provided states with unlimited money to cover eligible costs.

"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 in a news conference held in his home state.

"There isn't anything in this bill that would lower premiums", he said.

"It's going to be very hard to get me to a yes", he said, noting that conservative Republican senators would likely be reluctant to add spending back to the measure. Governors also said the bill could hurt rural hospitals and senior citizens who have nursing home care covered by Medicaid. The state has added 200,000 more people to its program under the Obama overhaul.

The Senate bill calls for phasing out the enhanced federal support for the expansion by 2024. Already, Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen is preparing to challenge him.

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"They can't fight the fight any more", Cronin said.

Underscoring the sensitivity of the bill, Sen.

Cornyn, who serves as the Senate's whip, made the remarks to reporters while attending the Koch network's donor retreat here in Colorado Springs.

"It was just released yesterday".

"We don't have the luxury of waiting around", he said. "I think they'll get some points". Iowa opted to expand, and has added more than 150,000 people to its rolls since 2014. "And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, can not change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation". The Senate parliamentarian will make that decision.

Democrats were hoping to scare off as many Republican votes as possible by planning efforts around the country to criticize the measure.

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In one instance, Sen. Each state has expanded Medicaid and has a GOP senator.

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