Revised health bill to be unveiled this week in Senate
By Laura Litvan
Senate Republican leaders plan to unveil a revised version of their health-care bill later this week after making little progress on winning over party holdouts.
GOP leaders will hold a vote on the measure next week, John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters on Monday. They haven’t said publicly how they’re planning to change the proposed legislation to win more support.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been negotiating with his Republican colleagues over revisions to a bill he proposed last month that combines tax cuts with deep reductions in health spending. Changes under consideration include ditching a repeal of Obamacare’s tax increases on the wealthy, revising Medicaid cuts and adding more spending to stabilize premium costs in the individual insurance market, according to a GOP aide who requested anonymity.
McConnell has little time to make a deal. Republican leaders have said they need to move on to other issues, including a tax-code overhaul and next year’s spending bills, if they can’t agree on a health bill before a month-long August break. For the bill to pass, and Republicans to live up to their promise to eliminate President Barack Obama’s signature domestic accomplishment, they can lose no more than two GOP votes from their 52-48 majority amid unanimous Democratic opposition.
Republicans say they’re increasingly pessimistic the GOP legislation can win approval.
Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said on “Fox News Sunday” that McConnell’s original plan is dead and that what happens with the rewritten version remains to be seen. He put the odds of passing a bill in July at “50-50.”
Given the lack of support for McConnell’s legislation, Senator John McCain of Arizona said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Republicans should write a new bill and let Democrats offer amendments. “That’s what democracy is supposed to be all […]