Senate conservatives try to gain leverage over health care overhaul

The proposed Republican health care bill released by Senate leadership this week will "kill Massachusetts" without addressing any of the real flaws in Obamacare, Congressman Stephen Lynch said yesterday.

In a separate statement, Paul said he would vote against the bill "in its current form, but I remain open to negotiation". Hillary Clinton won the state by 2.4 percentage points, or 27,272 votes.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller on Friday became the fifth person to oppose the bill, saying that he could not support the current draft either.

The Senate bill does keep more of Obamacare's protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Four conservative Republicans - a number large enough to stop the bill from passage - announced in the afternoon that they were withholding support.

The Senate can only afford two "no" votes from Republicans and still pass the measure.

The bill also scales back federal funding for Medicaid - which is more than half the spending for the program at the state level.

Senator Cantwell's plan to stop Republican health care bill
The bill also scales back federal funding for Medicaid - which is more than half the spending for the program at the state level. States could choose to have their federal Medicaid funding capped on either a per capita basis or through block grants.

The GOP-controlled Senate bill introduced Thursday would phase out federal money to states which opted to expand the low-income health insurance program.

"This is a nasty bill and they are trying to cover it up with little things here and there", said Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY.

Sen. Ted Cruz is one of four Republican senators who aren't on board with that chamber's version of the American Health Care Act.

But Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at the consulting firm Avalere Health, says the bill bases its tax credits on lower-quality insurance."If you're paying a similar percentage of income, you're getting a less generous product under this new plan", she says.

Most health care advocates, physician organizations and hospitals have come out against this bill.

"Small tweaks over the course of the next couple of weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, can not change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation". His biggest concern involves dismantling the Medicaid expansion he enacted in Louisiana, which has given insurance coverage to 430,000 people.

"I really feel that people have to recognize a vote to be able to cut back Medicaid, which is what this really is.is a vote to be able to lose your seat whether you're in the Senate or the House".

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