GOP healthcare plan will have 'heart'

Ted Cruz, a member of a core group of 13 Republicans who have been working on the legislation, told reporters the bill did not yet do enough to lower health insurance premiums.

With only 20 working days to go before a lengthy August recess, some Republican lawmakers say a bipartisan agreement could help clear a legislative schedule crammed with other top priorities, including a separate budget resolution, tax reform, infrastructure and an increase in the federal debt limit. "We're writing a Senate bill and not passing the House bill", Sen.

The House had a hard time passing its own measure after a roller-coaster attempt, with the first version being pulled before reaching the floor after House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., determined he did not have the votes.

At the White House, spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump "clearly wants a bill that has heart". If just three of them vote no, the bill would not pass. Democrats have been critical of the process with the bill being drawn up by the GOP majority behind closed doors.

Without some opioid funding, Mr. Portman can not vote for the bill, he said, adding, "Any replacement is going to have to do something to address this opioid crisis that is gripping our country". And conservatives both on and off the Hill warn that they won't support any bill that doesn't lower premiums.

The Senate legislation would link federal insurance subsidies to income, a change from a House-passed bill that tied them to age, the Post reported.

"If you're frustrated in the lack of transparency in this process, I share your frustration", Sen.

"It's apparently being written by a small handful of staffers for members of the Republican leadership", said Lee of the bill, using a Facebook video for an unusually public swipe at GOP leaders. A week ago, Trump called the version the House approved last month "mean". "He believes health care is something that is near and dear to so many families and individuals".

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Earlier Wednesday, conservative Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said it would be "a non-starter" if the developing bill's subsidies are as large as Obama's.

McConnell said last week that "nobody is hiding the ball here" and that people are "free to ask anybody anything". What if it doesn't even pass, and most all of them put themselves on the record voting for something that can still be used in a pretty brutal attack ad using those CBO numbers?

More moderate senators like Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are also seen as potential "no" votes on the other end of the spectrum. A non-partisan congressional review predicted that version would leave 23 million fewer people insured over the next decade. "I think it's much better to have committee consideration of bills, public hearings and to have a full debate".

In a move that is likely to please conservatives, the draft also proposes repealing all of the ACA taxes except for its so-called "Cadillac tax" on high-cost health plans in language similar to the House version.

It's unclear how Democrats will respond next week, but Schumer said Republicans should expect a fight.

They held the Senate floor for several hours late Monday and promised to use procedural tactics to slow the Senate's work in an effort to focus attention on the Republican effort.

Democrats are increasingly anxious that McConnell will jam the bill through the Senate with little debate, limiting their chance to scrutinize the bill and whip up opposition against it.

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