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Health bill showdown: Senate steers toward vote next week

22 Juin 2017

Three senators hopped in a taxi Tuesday afternoon to go find Senate Republicans' health care bill. But they're criticizing it as a stealth measure that GOP leaders want to rush through the chamber before anyone knows what's really in it. Although he was named to the Senate group to rewrite the AHCA, Utah Sen.

Senate Republicans coming out of closed door meetings Wednesday said that their bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act will be unveiled at GOP Senate conference meeting Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. He's hoping for Senate approval next week. They unanimously oppose the GOP bill but lack the votes to defeat it. This allows him to bring the bill to the floor quickly once Republicans are ready to vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was expected to push for a vote next week on the legislation, which would eliminate much of Obama's 2010 overhaul and leave government with a diminished role in providing coverage and helping people afford it.

"The Senate will soon have a chance to turn the page on this failed law", said the Kentucky Republican. The protesting lawmakers called for the setting up of an open committee and to be given adequate time to consider the bill. "It will be different and take a different approach based upon these endless discussions we've had with the only people interested in changing the law, which is Republican senators", McConnell said.

Democratic senators are trying to slow the train by putting up procedural roadblocks to unrelated bills. "But my sense of it is there will still be some differences that need to be worked out", the Florida Republican said on Fox & Friends.

Other Republican senators who ought to be particularly alarmed include Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Rob Portman of OH and Dean Heller of Nevada. According to reporting from Axios on Tuesday, the Senate parliamentarian has expressed concern that some proposals that the GOP would like to import from the House version of the bill could violate the Senate's arcane rules for budget reconciliation bills. "If it is going to pass, the bill is going to have to make meaningful steps to reduce premiums", he said. "No bill", he said. It remains uncertain McConnell will be able to do that, but both parties respect his ability to keep his party unified and count votes.

Mounting disapproval of the health care bill among Republicans reflects the growing trend within the entire electorate. "I'm not sure if we're going to come up with 50 votes with a Republican solution".

Paul is not one of the 13 senators chosen by McConnell to draft the bill. Spicer tells reporters during a White House briefing that Donald Trump has "made it clear from the beginning that that was one of his priorities".

On Tuesday, White House Spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters the president "wants a bill that has heart in it" but did not offer any specific policies Trump wants in the bill.

The Affordable Care Act is far from ideal, but to repeal it outright without a replacement whose provisions have been scrutinized, discussed and debated in public would cause unnecessary pain and upheaval.

Republicans are reportedly crafting the legislation behind closed doors.

Health bill showdown: Senate steers toward vote next week