Opposition To GOP Repeal Bill Inches Up, Intensifies

Senate-Lawmakers-Address-The-Media-After-Their-Weekly-Policy-Luncheons

Republicans possess only a narrow margin in the Senate, and can only afford to lose two votes from their 52-vote majority.

But shortly after the revamped bill's release, two Republicans confirmed their opposition against it, while at least five more expressed deep concerns. Even fully repealing the ACA would not cap spending for Medicaid in the way the Senate bill is proposing.

Republican leaders unveiled a new health care bill in their increasingly desperate effort to deliver on seven years of promises to repeal and replace "Obamacare".

A report from the Department of Health and Human Services showed that pre-tax credit premiums in the 39 states with federal-run individual marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act will average $476 a month in 2017.

That could free up about Dollars 230 billion to help contain health costs, supporters argue.

The revised legislation has $45 billion in opioid treatment funding - a top request from senators like Rob Portman of OH and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia - as well as in state stabilization money aimed at lowering premiums for high-cost enrollees. If that doesn't pass, there is no vote on the bill itself.

“Theres money, ” Collins told reporters, “but too many uses for that money.”.

Concessions to conservatives include giving states flexibility to let insurance companies offer cheap, no-frills plans alongside those that include certain health benefits mandated by Obamacare.

Some Republicans warn that such a move could end up abolishing protections for people with pre-existing conditions and send costs soaring for children and older insurance holders in the individual market.

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Among the Republican holdouts needed to pass the bill is one of Alaska's senators, Lisa Murkowski.

The conservative Cruz had been a critic of the earlier plan, but led the push to allow insurance companies to offer bare-bones plans. McConnell has sought to pass a bill with only Republican support, but he has struggled to secure the 50 Republican votes he needs.

Later in a tweet, she said she was prepared to work with Democrats "to fix flaws" in Obamacare. Her state has unusually high medical costs because much of it is remote, and it relies heavily on Medicaid, which the bill would cut. Shelley Moore Capito, Rob Portman and Dean Heller hail from states that depend on Medicaid expansion.

With Trump urging the Senate to act before taking the August break, McConnell pushed back the Senate's planned August recess by two weeks to allow senators more time to tackle the measure that would repeal key parts of Obamacare, as well as pursue other legislative priorities.

"The only thing that can change that is if the CBO announcement, which come out on Monday, indicates that there would be far fewer in Medicaid than I believe there are now", Collins said. We don't have any evidence there will be changes to the Medicaid portion of the health care bill, which could be problematic if leadership wants their votes.

McConnell said the plan was to vote on the healthcare bill next week, and said he hoped to have a fresh analysis of the bill from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office at the start of the week.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said it appeared "little has changed" in the new plan.

The lawmakers wanted details and numbers on how the bill would affect rural and Medicaid-dependent people in their states.

"The cuts are every bit as draconian as they were in the previous version", he said.

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