The nation's largest doctors' group dealt another blow Friday, saying the plan falls short on coverage and access
Sen. Bill Cassidy, Republican from Louisiana, (L), and Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, (R), talk while heading to a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, July 13, 2017. photo: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, photo: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
14 of July 2017 12:31:58
WASHINGTON – From both sides of the Atlantic, President Donald Trump and other administration officials lobbied Republicans Friday to support the Senate GOP's reworked health care bill, with the president saying wavering senators "must come through" to keep the measure from collapsing.But the bill, repealing much of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, hovered near failure as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell strained to keep more Republicans from deserting. Complicating the effort, Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich called the revised measure "still unacceptable," largely because of its cuts to Medicaid, the same concern that's been voiced by Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, one of the holdouts.McConnell, Republican from Kentucky, released the measure Thursday, a plan that caps seven years of his party's promises to obliterate Obama's 2010 law.But two GOP senators immediately said they'd vote "no" on a crucial vote planned for next week. Facing uniform Democratic opposition, a third Republican defection would sink it, a reality not lost on Trump.
So impt Rep Senators, under leadership of @SenateMajLdr McConnell get healthcare plan approved. After 7yrs of O'Care disaster, must happen!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2017
Also under pressure, indirectly, was Sen. Dean Heller, Republican from Nevada, who opposed McConnell's initial bill last month, also citing its Medicaid reductions. Heller, who faces a tough re-election next year, has stood arm-in-arm with his state's popular GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval in opposing cuts to that program for the poor, disabled and nursing home patients.In an interview Friday, Sandoval said his initial understanding of the new bill was that it "really doesn't change the dynamic" about the Medicaid cuts, and "that's a big concern for me."Sandoval said he expected to meet privately with Vice President Mike Pence and Health Secretary Tom Price at governors' meetings he is attending in Providence, Rhode Island, and had already heard from both men. Republicans consider winning over Sandoval a key to gaining Heller's vote.The nation's largest doctors' group dealt another blow Friday, saying the plan falls short on coverage and access, particularly for low-income people on Medicaid. The American Medical Association (AMA) said Medicaid cuts and "inadequate subsidies" will lead to "millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage."The AMA said GOP leaders took a "positive step" by adding $45 billion for treatment to help victims of the opioid epidemic. But it pointed out that people dealing with addiction also need regular health insurance, and that many would lose it if Republicans succeed in rolling back Medicaid financing.McConnell's reworked bill aims to win conservatives' support by letting insurers sell low-cost, skimpy policies. At the same time, he seeks to placate hesitant moderates by adding billions to combat opioid abuse and help consumers with skyrocketing insurance costs.Moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told reporters she had informed McConnell she would be voting against beginning debate on the bill, citing in part cuts in the Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has repeatedly complained that McConnell's efforts don't amount to a full-blown repeal of Obama's law, also announced he was a "no."McConnell could cancel next week's vote if he's short of support, something he did last month when his original legislation was headed toward defeat. He and other GOP leaders are urging senators to at least vote in favor of opening debate, which would open the measure up to amendments.
After all of these years of suffering thru ObamaCare, Republican Senators must come through as they have promised!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2017
ERICA WERNERALAN FRAM