Senate GOP Faces 'Revolt' Over Health Care Bill

Legislation expected to anger moderates, conservatives
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2017 5:16 AM CDT
Senate Republicans Ready to Haggle Over Healthcare
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP colleagues speak to reporters after a closed-door strategy meeting.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Leading Senate Republicans are ready to unveil a healthcare bill seen as a compromise between the House's version of ObamaCare repeal and ObamaCare itself—but they now have to find a compromise between conservative and moderate senators. The 52-member Senate GOP caucus will be presented with the bill Thursday morning in what Majority Whip John Cornyn says is the "start of the process" of getting 50 votes to pass it, using budget reconciliation to avoid Democratic filibusters, Politico reports. Cornyn says some senators will agree immediately to vote for the legislation and there will be "very detailed" efforts to address the concerns of those who need to be won over.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, faces what the Washington Post calls an "open revolt" from senators on both ends of the spectrum. Sen. Rand Paul says the plan sounds like "ObamaCare light," while moderate senators, especially those from states that accepted ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion, worry that the Senate legislation makes even deeper cuts to Medicaid funding than the House version. Sources tell the Hill that two other issues likely to complicate the GOP's path to 50 votes by alienating moderates are language defunding Planned Parenthood and the bill's predicted failure to include a $45 billion fund for treatment of opioid addicts. (The vote could happen as soon as next week.)

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