GOP senators complain on eve of health care bill unveiling

Kari Scott
June 22, 2017

Toomey is one of a handful of senators working behind closed doors on the Senate version, which other senators say they have not seen, Kelly said.

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

Senate GOP leaders are hoping to hold a vote on their bill next week, though the legislation aimed at overhauling parts of the nation's healthcare system has not yet been released.

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".

House Republicans have also lost the backing of most independents voters, who were split on the bill in April with 36 percent supporting it and the same percentage opposing it. Scott Brown deprived Democrats of 60 votes and the ability to change the bill, so they rammed through a flawed product that twice had to be saved from legal challenges by a Supreme Court willing to torture the English language.

There were private talks between Reid and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after the late Sen. McConnell says Republicans will have a "discussion draft" of a GOP-only bill scuttling former President Barack Obama's health care law by Thursday.

"Just about everything was done in public", said Jim Manley, a top aide to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

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Departing from the House-approved version of the legislation - which President Donald Trump privately called "mean" last week - the Senate plan would drop the House bill's waivers allowing states to let insurers boost premiums on some people with pre-existing conditions.

Moderate Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said she didn't know how she'd vote, saying, "What is the deal we have?"

Most Republicans said they were waiting until the text was released to say whether they would support the bill.

Three Democrats tried to make a point by live streaming a visit to the Congressional Budget Office, where they failed to get a copy of the GOP plan.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who has been leading the negotiations around Medicaid, was mum on on how quickly the Senate bill would phase out expansion funding.

Besides Lee and Cruz, conservative Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who vows to vote against any guarantee of health-care coverage, and Sen.

They said unresolved questions included how to make sure the subsidies can't be used for policies that provide abortions and how fast they can repeal tax boosts Obama levied on high earners and medical companies to finance his statute's expanded coverage. Some Republicans, however, have said that still would not leave them enough time to consider the bill before a vote next week.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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