Conservatives on Capitol Hill anxiously await health care bill

Justin Greene
June 22, 2017

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans to release a "discussion draft" of the bill on Thursday, and move it to a Senate vote next week.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) warned his Republican colleagues in the Senate on Wednesday against crafting their healthcare reform bill behind closed doors, saying that doing so makes it look like they're "trying to hide something".

"Everything about it turned the American people off - that's not the way to operate", McConnell continued.

US House Republican leaders said Tuesday the senate has to amend an Iran-Russia sanctions bill it passed overwhelmingly before the house can take it up, prompting Democrats to accuse the GOP of delaying tactics.

The bill will ultimately be judged by what is in it, and not the way it was drafted.

The White House, at least publicly, has offered no indications of what, specifically, the legislation should have to meet Trump's standard for having "heart". Just a day before the Senate passed it, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and appeared to speak against the measure, as he pressed the Trump administration's case for more "constructive" relations with Russian Federation. "I think it's much better to have committee consideration of bills, public hearings and to have a full debate". Chris Murphy (D-CT).

"There is an urgency to get this done because of the continued collapse of the Obama health care law", Barrasso, a member of the Senate Republican leadership, told CNN.

The sources said that in some instances, the documents McConnell planned to release might suggest optional approaches for issues that remain in dispute among Republicans.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives narrowly approved its version of repeal last month. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen.

Manchin said the Senate bill will likely emerge from those meetings looking very similar to the one passed in the House, which he called devastating for West Virginia.

The GOP health bill has an unprecedented low 17 percent approval rating and would leave 23 million Americans uninsured over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

How would the Senate bill affect those provisions, or the many others now in effect under the ACA? That might satisfy Republican senators from states that expanded their programs, but conservatives have wanted to halt the extra expenditures quickly.

Conservative Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., seemed skeptical that McConnell's package would go far enough in dismantling Obama's law, a concern shared by other congressional conservatives. Thune said "it's high time we turned the page on this failed Obamacare experiment".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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