WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said Friday he opposes the GOP bill that would scuttle much of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, complicating the task party leaders face in guiding the banner legislation through the Senate.
Heller, who faces a difficult re-election fight next year, said he would vote against the bill in its current form but did not rule out supporting a revamped version.
Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican from Kentucky, must get yes votes from 50 of the 52 GOP senators to avoid a defeat that would be a major embarrassment to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
McConnell has acknowledged that he’s willing to change the measure before it’s voted on.
The Senate bill would make major cuts in the federal-state Medicaid program for poor and disabled people. That includes phasing out extra money Obama’s statute gives states that have expanded the program, a step Nevada has taken, adding 200,000 additional people.
“It doesn’t protect Nevadans on Medicaid and the most vulnerable Nevadans,” Heller said at a news conference in Las Vegas.
REGINA GARCIA CANO