Sunday, 22 October, 2017

More hurdles as Senate again delays vote on GOP health bill

The Washington Post via Getty Images The Washington Post via Getty Images
Connie Andrews | 18 July, 2017, 00:20

There was no reason given but it was known the agency was scrambling to complete its analysis of the bill, especially a complicated amendment by Republican Sen. But there's no guarantee the extra time will accomplish anything except giving senators more heartburn. McConnell has delayed the health care vote until McCain returns, because without him, they don't have the votes to advance the legislation. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of ME opposed the bill already, and McCain's absence next week would likely have made it impossible to proceed.

Democrats have been highly critical of Republicans for rushing their process and crafting their bill in leadership offices rather than in committee.

Democratic senators offered back in March to work with Republicans to fix problems with the insurance market if they agreed to drop their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

For his part, the president seems to be treating McCain's recovery like an extended snow day. If the provision is dropped out altogether, whether by parliamentary challenge or another method, support of both senators and others could drop off. So far, despite strong pressure from President Donald Trump, the middle ground that can win over moderates without alienating conservatives has proven elusive.

In other words, Republicans constantly need to remind their base why they're passing this legislation in the first place just to get them to like it more.

After promising for years to repeal Obamacare, Senate Republicans can't even agree to debate the bill. "It would affect our rural hospitals and our nursing homes, and they would have a very hard time even staying in existence".

Republican leaders are eager to notch a major legislative victory for Trump, but there is a pending logjam of important business in the Senate, including consideration of raising the limit on federal borrowing.

The claim alienated many at the meeting, partly because waiting lists for Medicaid's home- and community-based services were not affected by the program's expansion under the ACA, and partly because many interpreted Pence's remark as an overly aggressive shot at Kasich.

The group says Medicaid cuts and what it calls "inadequate subsidies" will lead to "millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage".

But two Republican senators have already declared their opposition to revised legislation unveiled on Thursday.

The Fix's Aaron Blake has documented how Republicans don't feel strongly about this health-care bill as it plods its way through Congress: A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that just 18 percent of Republicans strongly approved of it, while 11 percent disapproved strongly.

A number of moderates, including Ms. Collins, have expressed concerns over the bill's cuts to the growth of Medicaid. The controversial amendment has already sparked outrage among insurance associations, two of whom took the unusual step on Friday of penning a letter calling the Cruz amendment "simply unworkable in any form". "On the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will be recovering in Arizona next week".

"The current system is awful", Paul said on Fox News Sunday.

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