Collins: Eight to 10 Republican senators have serious concerns about health bill

Andrew Cummings
July 18, 2017

There are only 52 Republicans in the Senate and two of them, Collins and Sen.

But the immediate outcry illustrated the hard political terrain that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must navigate.

Still, the political science professor said, Lee may well have plenty of company if he joins the Republican senators already opposed to the bill.

The top U.S. doctors' group, the American Medical Association, on Friday called the new bill inadequate and said more bipartisan collaboration is needed in the months ahead to improve the delivery and financing of healthcare.

"The revised bill does not address the key concerns of physicians and patients regarding proposed Medicaid cuts and inadequate subsidies that will result in millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage", AMA president Dr David Barbe said, referring to the government insurance program for the poor and disabled.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill would cut Medicaid by almost $800 billion by 2026, and would cut Medicaid 35 percent come 2036.

The pressure is on Lee and the handful of other Republican holdouts on the bill meant to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, because Senate leaders can afford to lose only one more GOP vote. Only 43 percent of Republicans strongly prefer the GOP proposal.

US Republicans are striving to pass a bill that would overhaul the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, but a new poll shows that a majority of Americans oppose the GOP legislation.

According to WIBC host Tony Katz, however, the cold reality is that Republicans don't have the votes needed to pass their legislation anyway, so what happens without this bill?

"There are changes that need to be made to the law", Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, told MSNBC, citing "a bipartisan appetite to tackle this issue". John McCain said he would be at home in Arizona recovering from a surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye. But moderate Susan Collins and conservative Rand Paul voiced opposition to even bringing the new plan up for debate. None. There is not a single Republican you know of who will talk in that way.

The bill played to the party's disparate factions by letting insurers sell cheap, bare-bones policies while retaining taxes on the wealthy. It further provides a list of independent health care groups Democrats say must be invited to testify about the bill's impact on the nation's health insurance markets, including the American Cancer Society and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Close the doors and sit down to discuss and negotiate the Medicaid portion of an insolvent, past-hope program called ObamaCare.

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