Johnson: Senate bill doesn't address health care costs

Senate Republicans launched their plan for dismantling Barack Obama's health care law Thursday edging a step closer to their dream of repeal with a bill that would drastically cut Medicaid and end tax increases on the wealthy

A health insurance industry trade group says it's encouraged by provisions of the Senate GOP health care bill, but stopped short of voicing support.

Passage would move President Donald Trump and the GOP closer to one of their marquee pledges - erasing Obama's 2010 statute.

"I would have liked to see the Democrats step up to the table and negotiate with us now, not wait till this bill is either passed or defeated", she said.

Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell has pushed for a vote on the bill next week, but at least four Republicans have publicly voiced their opposition to the bill.

McConnell released the bill after weeks of closed-door meetings searching for middle ground between conservative senators seeking an aggressive repeal of Obama's statute and centrists warning about going too far.

"If we get to impasse, if we go to a bill that is more repeal and less big government programs, yes I'll consider partial repeal", Paul said on ABC.

That means that Republican supporters of the legislation can only lose two Republican votes, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote if the Senate splits 50-50.

Heller, a Republican who is up for re-election in 2018, is the Democrats' top target in the upcoming cycle.

That could add Heller's name to Trump's call list.

"We've a very good plan", Trump said in an interview broadcast Sunday. Unfortunately, this bill that was written pretty much in secret, and is now trying to be rushed through the process, doesn't do any of that.

Healthcare stocks closed down 0.1 % on Friday, clawing back some losses after the sector dropped sharply late in the session on Heller's announcement.

If the Senate approves its repeal version, either the House would have to pass the same bill or reconcile its version with the Senate's before Trump could sign it into law. More than 100 Republican amendments were adopted into the Affordable Care Act during its long review period. As five conservatives are now against the bill.

The 142-page bill, which includes cuts to Medicaid, would end the individual mandate set up by the ACA, which was a key component that kept the law functioning. "And we'll see if we can take care of that". They say the GOP plan would mean fewer people with coverage and higher costs for many. However, "as now drafted, this bill does not do almost enough to lower premiums".

The Senate measure would make major cuts in the Medicaid program for poor and disabled people. He indicated the Senate plan met that request.

Back in May, the House narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Yet McConnell plans to bring his bill to the floor without so much as a public hearing - and under rules that limit debate and prohibit a filibuster.

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