US Republicans defy new healthcare bill

Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) on Friday said he could not support a health care plan backed by Senate Republican leaders as written, noting the proposed elimination of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion component.

He said that if Republicans come up with a plan that is "demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it".

Heller said that to win his vote, GOP leaders would have to "protect Medicaid expansion states" from the bill's current cuts.

The other four Senators said the bill doesn't do enough to repeal Obamacare and lower health care costs.

Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., must get yes votes from 50 of the 52 GOP senators to avoid a defeat that would be a major embarrassment to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

On Thursday, former US President Barack Obama took to Facebook to write, "This bill will do you harm".

Vilsack, however, replies that uncertainty over continuing support for Obamacare from the Republican-controlled Congress and the Trump Administration scared insurance companies into leaving the program.

McConnell, eager to approve the legislation next week, indicated he was open to changes before it reaches the Senate floor, but he said it was time to act.

Where Republican US senators stand on healthcare bill
Six Republican senators from Minnesota's neighboring states could cast critical votes as early as next week on the U.S. Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, McConnell can afford to lose just two of the 52 GOP senators and still prevail.

GOP Senator Susan Collins of ME, who has not yet said she will vote against the bill, expressed reservations towards it to news outlets today. He said the state's uninsured rate declined from 23% before the Affordable Care Act to 11 or 12% afterward.

She says she intends to wait for a Congressional Budget Office analysis before making a decision.

Despite Trump appearing to suggest he had used the word "mean" to describe his own party's healthcare bill, the president appeared more concerned with outlining who coined the description.

Trump, in an interview that aired Sunday on Fox News, said, "I think we're going to get there", but acknowledged the complicated road in the coming days to "picking a plan that everybody is going to like".

The CBO said it would issue its assessment of the Senate bill early this week. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Collins discussed the release of a report that says that less than one percent of the 4,000-mile U.S.

She also pushed back on the White House's line that the bill would not result in Medicaid cuts. You may not agree with me, but we can probably agree that what is happening now is embarrassing, shameful and will do harm to us.

Casey, a Democrat, said that's disingenuous, because the commonwealth doesn't have the money to make up for federal cuts.

Heller got an opponent for next year when first-year Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen announced this week she would seek his Senate seat.

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