GOP senators threaten to oppose health bill


Several Republican senators have said they want to see their bill cover more people than the House version, and President Donald Trump himself called the House bill "mean" - though he's lent his support to the Senate version and is lobbying for passage. He can afford to lose just two GOP votes and still pass the legislation, because Democrats are in lockstep against it.

Other Republican senators have expressed concerns. This forecast comes as Senate Republican leaders press for a vote on the bill later this week, and it has already led one Republican senator to firmly oppose the bill. That's about $100B more than the plan needed to drop the federal deficit in order for it to move forward.

Senator Susan Collins of ME tweeted after the Congressional Budget Office analysis on Monday that the Senate bill won't fix the flaws in the current bill. "I will vote no on [motion to proceed]", Collins tweeted this evening.

The Congressional Budget Office announced these staggering numbers on Monday as some Republicans decide whether or not to support the Senate bill.

"By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law", the CBO estimate said.

The House passed its version of an Obamacare repeal bill in May.

By next year, the CBO found, 15 million more Americans would be uninsured under the Senate's bill. "It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else".

"Throwing 22 million Americans off of health insurance, raising premiums for older Americans, defunding Planned Parenthood and giving $231 billion in tax breaks to the top 2 percent is a cynical and immoral proposal", said Independent Senator Bernie Sander, who caucuses with the Democrats. Those ages are just shy of when people begin qualifying for Medicare coverage.

RYAN: What they're basically saying at the Congressional Budget Office is if you're not going to force people to buy Obamacare, if you're not going to force people to buy something that they don't want, then they won't buy it. So it's not that people are getting pushed off a plan. The budget office said its estimate included the impact of that addition.

That would put a strain on insurance companies, because they need a large number of healthy people as customers to help pay for those who are sick.

The savings would be possible with an $862 billion cut in spending over that time, the CBO said, while revenue would decline by about $541 billion from tax cuts.

The legislation would decrease federal deficits by a total of $321 billion over a decade, the budget office said.

The repeal bill passed by the House last month has a different kind of incentive.

McConnell is expected to hold the bill for a vote by the end of the week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., delivered the message to GOP senators Tuesday at a private lunch also attended by Vice President Mike Pence and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. That's largely because the penalty for not having health insurance - the Affordable Care Act's so-called individual mandate - would be eliminated.