Five GOP senators now oppose health bill _ enough to sink it

Five GOP senators now oppose health bill _ enough to sink it

Heller's announcement was fairly predictable, because he is one of the most vulnerable GOP senators in the 2018 elections and his support of a bill that appears to be about as popular with the American people as athlete's foot wouldn't exactly give his campaign a boost.

Sen. Jeff Flake's home state of Arizona could lose at least $7.1 billion through 2026 under the Senate proposal to roll back former President Barack Obama's health care law. Subsidies under the bill would help middle-income consumers buy insurance that pays 58 percent of the average patient's medical costs, down from 70 percent under Obamacare; it would also remove a different type of subsidy created to lower deductibles further for Americans earning less than around $30,000 a year.

But Americans over 40 wouldn't fare so well.

Democrats formed a united front against the controversial measure that was drafted in secret, criticizing it as a "war on Medicaid", the health care program for lower income Americans, and calling it a worse plan than one that passed the House of Representatives in May.

The problem facing GOP leaders is that any changes that moves the bill further to the right has the potential to alienate moderate Republicans.

Trump said he thinks Republicans in the Senate are doing the best they can to push through the bill.

"We can not support the current bill".

Heller joined four conservative senators who came out against the bill Thursday, albeit for far different reasons, including that the Medicaid cuts aren't large enough, proving that McConnell's path to 50 is complicated.

He acknowledged that Republicans have long promised to repeal the ACA, but urged lawmakers to put aside partisan politics while working to address America's health care system.

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Cantwell is hoping to organize opposition to the bill.

Heller expressed particular concerns about the bill's impact on Medicaid, and especially on states, such as Nevada, that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.

"When you are doing something good, you want everyone to know", Menendez said.

As expected, all Democrat senators have vowed to shut down the bill and have encouraged all senators to look past party lines to stop the bill from passing.

Heller, meanwhile, was skeptical Friday that Senate leadership was going to be able to provide the concessions he would need to support the bill. Sandoval also asked if it's "really realistic" for people earning $16,000 per year to buy insurance on the exchange if they lose Medicaid eligibility.

One possibility is that McConnell is anxious the provision runs afoul of the procedural rules allowing Republicans to pass the bill with a simple majority vote. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., didn't mince words when she ripped into the bill on the Senate floor earlier Thursday. "And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, can not change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation", Obama wrote in a statement on Thursday.

The measure calls for reducing money for Medicaid.

Molina Healthcare Inc, which has more than 1 million customers in Obamacare plans, said in a statement that dropping the individual mandate with no replacement provision will lead healthy people to forgo coverage and thus drive up premium rates.