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One week. 52 senators. Can Mitch McConnell get it done?

24 Juin 2017

American Nurses Association President Pamela Cipriano holds up a list of essential health benefits as she discusses the effects of the proposed Republican healthcare legislation on families at a news conference. Like the House, the Senate wants to leave up to the states whether policies must cover such services as emergency, maternity and mental health care.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin). People are removed from a sit-in outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office as they protest proposed cuts to Medicaid, Thursday, June 22, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

McConnell stitched it together behind closed doors, potentially moving President Donald Trump and the GOP toward achieving perhaps their fondest goal - repealing former President Obama's 2010 statute, his proudest domestic legacy. "Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what's really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did". Dean Heller have expressed serious "concerns" about the lack of Medicaid provisions under the bill and how it would lead to long-term federal spending cuts to the program.

The Senate would end the tax penalties Obama's law created for people not buying insurance and larger employers not offering coverage to workers.

"I am very supportive of the Senate #HealthcareBill", said Trump. That language could be forced out of the bill for procedural reasons, which would threaten support from conservatives, but Republicans would seek other ways to retain the restriction.

McConnell faces a great challenge in amassing the votes to win Senate approval of the bill, which Republicans are trying to pass using special budget rules that would allow them to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

McConnell, eager to approve the legislation next week, indicated he was open to changes before it reaches the Senate floor.

"Republicans believe we have a responsibility to act, and we are", he said. Meaning, lower-income people could get less coverage and less subsidies to pay for that coverage.

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A vote from Collins, who has been willing to break from her party in the past, would be key to ensuring the bill's passage. Ron Wyden of Oregan told me.

"Of Louisiana's two senators, Sen".

The Better Care Reconciliation Act, which would replace Obamacare, puts the health of millions of poor, elderly, disabled and chronically ill patients at risk, said Rick Pollack, CEO of the American Hospital Association. "You know, healthcare is a very hard situation", Mr. Trump said on Fox News. "They are also four good guys and they are four friends of mine", Mr. Trump said. "Ask me again when we see the final product".

The American Academy of Pediatrics says the bill would hurt children by scaling back Medicaid.

Sen. Susan Collins of ME reiterated her opposition to language blocking federal money for Planned Parenthood, which many Republicans oppose because it provides abortions.

Obama finally weighed in on the GOP healthcare bill Thursday, in a long Facebook post. He said "small tweaks" during the upcoming debate "cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation". "The president said the house bill was mean". Mothers and families might have to purchase additional coverage for pregnancies, said the March of Dimes, a foundation fighting against birth defects and infant mortality. The group's statement suggested Cassidy "must demand that the Senate delay a vote" until more analysis is done to understand the proposal's impact.

In response to calls by moderates to more slowly phase in the Medicaid program cuts, the Senate version would gradually reduce the federal share of the cost from 90 beginning in 2021 until it drops to 57 percent in 2024.