Republicans are taking one last stab at healthcare and claim that they are close.
According to two Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham they feel they can get it done by 9/30/2017.
As of now the informal whip count is “48 or 49” which is not 50. Senior Democrats, meanwhile, are rallying Obamacare’s defenders to stamp out a revived threat to their signature law.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, issued a “red alert” on Twitter over the weekend The Washington Times Reports:
Under the plan, Obamacare money that pays for an expansion of Medicaid and that subsidizes coverage for many of those who buy insurance on the exchanges would be pooled and instead given to states as block grants. The states would tailor the money to their own health care plans.
The bill would immediately repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate requiring people to get coverage or pay a tax and its rule requiring large employers to provide coverage or face crippling penalties. It also scraps the 2010 law’s tax on medical device sales.
There are “people coming out regularly and saying they’re for it, either privately or publicly,” Mr. Cassidy said.
But Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, announced Friday that he is staunchly opposed to the bill, lengthening the odds of success as his party continues to struggle with its seven-year promise to scrap the Affordable Care Act.
Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, and Sen. Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican who faces a tough re-election bid next year, have signed onto the plan. Yet Republican leaders are demanding an airtight vote count before bringing another bill to the floor.
Mr. Paul said he doesn’t support the bill because it leaves 90 percent of Obamacare in place, including many of its taxes and coverage rules. He said it amounts to “Obamacare lite.”
Sen. Susan M. Collins, a Maine Republican who rejected previous repeal attempts, said she has reservations about how the plan would affect her state. She wants to keep the focus on bipartisan efforts to shore up the insurance markets as they exist.
Bill sponsors aren’t counting on red-state Democrats to offset Republican dissenters, though they say some might hop on board if the 52-seat Republican majority fronts at least 50 votes.
“I’m pretty confident we’ll get there on the Republican side,” Mr. Cassidy said.
Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and a key holdout said he supports the bill but wants hearings, further straining the calendar.
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Credit: Washington Times