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Senate Republicans Are Struggling to Get the Votes They Need for Yet Another Version of Their Health Care Bill

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Two Senate Republicans are continuing to voice their disproval of the Republican health care bill, making it unlikely that the bill, even with revisions, pass the Senate in its current state, The New York Timesreports. Today, senators are getting a first look at yet another version of the bill being released with the purpose of repealing many parts of Obama's Affordable Care Act.

The two senators who have spoken out about their views on the bill, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, have both said they do not support the bill. Paul says the bill leaves too much of Obama's bill in place, while Collins says the current bill plans to make too many cuts. If one more senator says they won't be voting for the bill, it won't pass the Senate, where it needs 50 votes of support. Republicans currently hold 52 seats in the Senate—only two Republicans can vote against the bill without destroying it, as Democrats unanimously oppose it.

Sen. Paul told the Times that the current revised version of the bill is even worse than the original because it gives more subsidies to insurance companies and doesn't cut taxes from the Affordable Care Act enough. He claims this doesn't really repeal Obamacare the way the Republican party promised it would.

On the other hand, Sen. Collins disagrees with the revised bill because of the large cuts to Medicaid, saying firmly, "If the Medicaid cuts remain the same in the new version of the Senate bill, I will vote no on the motion to proceed."

The different criticisms coming from Sen. Paul and Sen. Collins show the challenge for Republicans—creating an agreement between moderate and conservative Republicans on different parts of the bill. Super conservative Republicans want the bill to totally repeal Obamacare, including parts of it that most of the country loves, like rules against discrimination for preexisting conditions. But moderate Republicans know much of Obamacare has made things better for their constituents, so they don't want to fully repeal it, especially without a good replacement plan.

In the updated version of the bill being unveiled today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hoping to unite his party, Business Insider reports. Some of the changes include providing tax credits to help people pay for their plans, and keeping in place some of the taxes on the wealthy that help pay for Obamacare.

The bill was supposed to be voted on in June, but the lack of consensus among Republicans caused McConnell to push back the vote. He's now aiming to hold the vote next week, but it seems many Republicans still aren't showing signs of support for the bill. In the meantime, the Associated Press reports that President Trump has warned the Senate that if the bill isn't passed soon, he "will be very angry about it, and a lot of people will be very upset.”

While this newest version of the bill seems like a compromise, it may not be enough to get the support it needs.


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