GOP rift over Medicaid and opioids imperils Senate health bill

Cheryl Sanders
June 22, 2017

"I think we'll have ample opportunity to read and amend the bill", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Paul said he believes that it's critical to provide members with enough time to review legislation before it comes to the floor for a vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will have a "discussion draft" of a GOP-only bill scuttling former President Barack Obama's health care law by Thursday.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who has been leading the negotiations around Medicaid, was mum on on how quickly the Senate bill would phase out expansion funding.

The healthcare bill will be released to the Republican Senate Conference on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and posted online, Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming and Bob Corker of Tennessee told reporters on Wednesday. At the same time, the bill's approval has dipped from 42 percent in April to 35 percent this month.

During the White House press briefing Tuesday, Spicer said he didn't know if President Trump or White House staffers had yet seen the bill. "These are merely the first steps we're prepared to take in order to shine a light on this shameful Trumpcare bill and reveal to the public the GOP's true intentions: to give the uber-wealthy a tax break while making middle class Americans pay more for less health care coverage".

More than 200 people came to a hearing Blumenthal held Monday at the Legislative Office Building, in part to protest the secretive process Republicans have used to write the new health care law.

McConnell was unveiling his plan even as GOP senators from across the party's political spectrum complained about the package and the secretive, behind-closed-doors meetings he used to draft a measure reshaping the country's medical system, which comprises one-sixth of the USA economy. The ACA and our health care are in jeopardy, and our senators should take the lead in fighting the Republican bill tooth and nail.

With a slim margin for error and Republicans already backing away, Trumpcare may be on its deathbed before a single vote is cast in the U.S. Senate. Some of its provisions were described by people on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss them publicly.

The chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee said Wednesday that Republicans are fine-tuning the specifics of the Senate health care bill, one week before a vote is scheduled on the legislation.

Daines says what could be gained are lower premiums and more state control over Medicaid expansion funds. That means McConnell can't afford to lose all three of his most conservative members.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) vented her frustration with the Senate's lack of transparency.

Other reports by iNewsToday