Rubio a maybe, Nelson a no on Republican health care bill

US Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a revamped health care plan aimed at fulfilling President Donald Trump's pledge to repeal Obamacare, but a revolt by four conservatives put the bill in immediate jeopardy.

"I expect there's going to be a number of changes between now and the final vote", said Sen. While negotiators might offer some wiggle room on effective dates for the delay of the Obamacare tax repeal provisions in the bill (as they already have in no longer making them retroactive as the House bill did) to free up money for other concessions, they won't go very far.

The bill, drafted in secret, is likely to come to the Senate floor next week and could come to a vote after 20 hours of debate.

"Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo".

But some Republican senators, as well as all the Senate's Democrats, have complained about McConnell's proposal, the secrecy with which he drafted it and the speed with which he'd like to whisk it to passage.

For weeks, McConnell's colleagues have publicly criticized his decision to write the bill behind closed doors. "It's about the character of our country - who we are, and who we aspire to be", Mr Obama wrote. Marco Rubio released a video statement Thursday saying he won't judge the new Republican Senate health care bill until he has studied it, while Democratic U.S. Sen. "S$3 mall 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", Obama added.

Collins called the Medicaid piece "the most significant budget move for counties ever" and said that it would fix and stabilize county finances for the next 50 years. Republican senators from states that expanded Medicaid, such as Ohio's Rob Portman, want to extend that phase-out to seven years.

The only other New Jersey Republican to approve the House bill, Rep. Tom MacArthur of Ocean County, said it was important that Congress act because the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was "collapsing".

At the White House on Thursday, Trump expressed hope for quick action.

Ending Obama's expansion has caused major rifts among GOP senators.

Oscar Health files to expand insurance coverage in several states
But repeated price hikes can fuel that problem because they make insurance less attractive to healthy people. Some have spent decades in their markets and are reluctant to end long-standing presences.

Beginning in 2020, the Senate measure would also limit the federal funds states get each year for Medicaid.

To make up for lost federal money, SC would have to spend more state taxpayer money on Medicaid, restrict enrollment to cut the number of South Carolinians eligible for Medicaid or cut the number of services that Medicaid pays for.

The 142-page bill would create a new system of federal tax credits to help people buy health insurance, while offering states the ability to drop numerous benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, like maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment.

The tax credits would be tied to income - similar to the Affordable Care Act, but different from the House bill that would link the funding to a person's age.

Additionally, the benchmark plan for Obamacare has an actuarial value - in essence, the percentage of all costs covered - of 70%.

Obama law: Private health insurance plans sold to people who receive federal subsidies can cover abortion.

Those waivers would allow state to drop benefits required by Obamacare like maternity coverage, mental health care and prescription drug coverage. "Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again".

Attendees had questions about their own eligibility for the federal program, but didn't bring up the newly-revealed Senate bill.

If the Texas political fight of the week was most recently in Austin, it's now moved to Washington.

-Repeal a tax penalty on larger employers not providing health insurance to workers, saving them $171 billion over the next decade. The payments help offset costs for insurers in exchange for offering more affordable coverage to low-income Americans.

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