The changes were made in an attempt to appease both moderate and conservative Republican members, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell looks to vote on the bill as early as next week. A vote may come as early next week, but McConnell has hinted that if the measure fails Republicans are prepared to work with Democrats in crafting a bipartisan program, which would need 60 votes to advance instead of the 50 the GOP is now seeking using budget reconciliation.
"There are few people tougher than my friend John McCain, and I know he'll be back with us soon", Mr. McConnell said in a statement Saturday. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic said the senator's surgery was successful and he is resting comfortably at his home in Arizona.
"While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act", McConnell said in a statement late Saturday night.
A revised version of the bill he released earlier this week quickly drew two firm no votes - Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of ME - leaving the Kentucky Republican with no margin of error.
Republicans hold 52 Senate seats, and all Democratic senators oppose the bill.
Next, the Senate proposal makes important reforms to Medicaid, to better provide health care for America's most vulnerable people. One big takeaway: The Senate's version of health care would undermine historical assumptions and drastically shift risk in the individual market.
Several moderate Republicans had previously objected to the Cruz amendment, but many have said they are undecided and still reviewing the revised bill, which includes the provision.
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Earlier this week, the Indiana Association of Public Schools, the Indiana Rural Schools Association and several school districts wrote Senate leaders saying 140 school districts in the state received $12 million in Medicaid funding past year. "It slashes Medicaid, which has become something that helps middle-class New Yorkers - millions of them, literally - and millions of Americans".
Ask about health care at a summer cookout, and you'll likely get an earful about how drug corporations are gouging us, leaving many families to choose between buying medications or putting food on the table. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has repeatedly complained that McConnell's efforts don't amount to a full-blown repeal of Obamacare, also announced he was a "no". Medicaid is a cost effective and efficient way to fund essential health care services for children. Currently, the federal government pays a fixed percentage of state Medicaid costs - about 64 percent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.): "The bill's deepest Medicaid cuts are far into the future, and they'll never go into effect anyway". The caller said that her husband was sick during that period, but they couldn't afford insurance. The drawback is that state officials could eventually face no-win choices, such as having to pick between paying for coverage for low-wage working mothers and support services for elderly people trying to stay out of nursing homes.
"It seems to me it's not almost enough" to keep plans affordable for those with chronic illness, said Timothy Jost, emeritus law professor at Washington and Lee University and an expert on health reform.
"Republicans spent the past two weeks putting lipstick on a pig", California Sen.
A number of other Republicans have expressed serious reservations about the bill in its current form.
Adding to the uncertainty, the Congressional Budget Office also indicated on Sunday it no longer expected to release its analysis on Monday on the estimated cost and scope of insurance coverage under the latest GOP bill, which has the support of President Donald Trump.