The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its report and given the Senate Republican health care bill a score. But Senate leaders have already released a slightly altered version of the bill, and it may be revised even more. It’s likely that the Senate will vote on a different bill than what the CBO has reviewed.
Senator Mitch McConnell is working hard and making changes in an effort to win over the holdouts needed to pass the legislation. There are at least six Republicans that are stating opposition.The most significant change that has been made is the inclusion of a new provision to encourage Americans to maintain continuous health-care coverage. This would counter ObamaCare’s individual mandate. The new provision would render a six-month waiting period before any new insurance would go into effect for anyone who had a break in coverage lasting 63 days or longer in the prior year.
McConnell is fielding a variety of demands for changes in what will probably be his toughest test as Senate Majority Leader. He can only afford to have two defectors and still pass the new health care bill. If the bill is defeated, it may paralyze plans for a replacement bill for the foreseeable future.
“It will hurt the Republicans if they fumble on the issue that has been their signature issue,” said Julian Zelizer, an historian at Princeton University. “That won’t look good if they can’t do this. This is a high-stakes moment.”
The American Medical Association, the biggest lobbying group for U.S. doctors, said it opposes the Senate’s health bill. The AMA stated that the bill would “expose low- and middle-income patients to higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care,” while calling the cuts to Medicaid a “serious mistake.”
Nevada Senator Dean Heller said that he will oppose the bill in its current form because of its cuts to Medicaid and to subsidies for individual insurance coverage. Two other moderate Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said that they can’t say yet how they will vote, but expressed reservation about McConnell’s speedy deadline for action.
This is what makes it so hard for McConnell, four conservatives (Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson) say the plan keeps too much of ObamaCare. They are demanding a number of changes before they will back the bill.
Mitch McConnell will most likely introduce a revised bill in the Senate Tuesday evening. This will be a catalyst for a 20-hour debate later in the week which could be followed by an all-night vote that will most likely include hundreds of amendments.
However that all went up in smoke when Senator Mitch McConnell announced that the bill is going to be delayed, The Hill reports:
Senate Republicans are delaying their effort to vote on legislation repealing ObamaCare until after the July 4 recess after a number of members said they opposed the current bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told members of the decision on Tuesday at a closed-door meeting.
“He simply said I think we need more time to work on it, we don’t have the votes right now,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) told reporters after the meeting.
Do you think that the Republicans will come together and get this bill passed?