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GOP eyes Senate health care vote next week, amid grumbling

22 June, 2017, 09:04 | Author: Rickey Alvarado

McConnell can only afford two Republican defections on the bill and still have Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote to get it over the 50-vote threshold needed for passage.

"House Republicans are considering using a procedural excuse to hide what they're really doing: covering for a president who has been far too soft on Russia", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, Bloomberg reported.

"Everything about it turned the American people off - that's not the way to operate", McConnell continued.

Nearly two-thirds of voters - 65 percent - want Republicans to work with Democrats on the bill, while 18 percent want the Republicans only to work with each other. Spicer offered no specifics but said Trump wants the Senate to "strengthen it, to make it more affordable, more accessible". Now, only 26 percent of independents support the House GOP bill, while 53 percent oppose it.

"I'm sure that maybe the Russians have been able to hack in and gotten most of it but I haven't seen it", said Senator John McCain. Chris Murphy (D-CT).

An analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office - issued after the Republican-controlled House approved the measure - said the bill, if it were to become law, would in 10 years leave 23 million more Americans without health insurance than would be the case if the ACA were to remain in place.

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Senate Republican leadership plans to release the text of the bill on Thursday.

McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is viewed inside the White House and around Washington as a master of the Senate, someone who knows his caucus and what it will take to get a bill passed.

In a process that defies tradition, logic and fairness, McConnell has kept the Senate consideration of the health-care reform bill bottled up in a 13-person, closed door gaggle. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who has been leading the negotiations around Medicaid, was mum on on how quickly the Senate bill would phase out expansion funding. They fear McConnell will jam the legislation through the Senate with little debate, limiting their chance to scrutinize the bill and whip up opposition against it.

To help pay for its expanded coverage to around 20 million people, Obama's law increased taxes on higher income people, medical industry companies and others, totaling around $1 trillion over a decade. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said during a call with reporters on Tuesday that the proposed Medicaid cuts would come at a time when opioid addiction is increasing and taking more lives. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said it would be "a non-starter" if the developing bill's subsidies are as large as Obama's.

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