Published: Wed, June 28, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Budget office sees 22 million fewer covered with Senate bill

Budget office sees 22 million fewer covered with Senate bill

McConnell, who has a razor-thin majority in the Senate, told reporters that Republican leaders were still working to get the 50 votes to pass the bill, adding that the White House was anxious to help write legislation that could pass the Senate.

Since the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the bill would leave 22 million more Americans without insurance, several Republicans senators had said they would not even support allowing the bill to be brought to the Senate floor for a vote.

The Senate's Republican leadership was forced Tuesday to put off a hotly-anticipated vote on their plan to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's signature health care law, lacking the needed votes.

The highly anticipated CBO report comes ahead of an effort by Senate Republican leaders to push the bill toward a vote, perhaps as early as this week, before the July 4 recess.

McConnell first delivered the message to GOP senators at a private lunch attended by Vice President Mike Pence and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul tweeted about his visit, saying he was: "Headed to meet with @realDonaldTrump this afternoon".

Lee was among four conservatives who announced last week that they were against the current version of the legislation.

Paul has said it is worse to "pass a bad bill than to pass no bill".

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Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana also said he is waiting to hear from leaders about revisions before deciding how he'll vote.

Republicans face difficulties in winning over skeptical senators, as tweaks to appease conservatives could alienate moderates, or vice versa.

Lee is one of at least five GOP senators who meant to vote against allowing the Senate's version of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act to even be considered.

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz also weighed in, stating that there are "common sense reforms" that he believes will be reflected in the final draft of the health care bill. "What is this going to look like when this gets out of the next iteration?", said Peter Costa, president of trading firm Empire Executions Inc. The CBO said the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $321 billion over the next decade.

Those rebels were just part of McConnell's problem.

McConnell and Senate GOP leaders haven't discussed possible changes with members concerned about some of the bill's provisions, two senators said. But three GOP senators are threatening to vote against a procedural motion to begin debate, a vote expected Wednesday.

"What I want to see is to make sure that for lower income individuals, that they have access to health care and health care coverage either through Medicaid or through a refundable tax credit where they can buy their own policy", he said.

The bill "does not do enough to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating my state, cuts traditional Medicaid too deeply, and harms rural health care providers", West Virginia U.S. Sen.

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