Key Republican senators jeopardize GOP's push to pass Obamacare replacement this week

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Cedar Rapids Iowa

They can afford to lose only two votes, but at least six Republicans - including Collins - have now announced that they cannot support the plan as drafted, and others have expressed concerns. Democrats are unanimously opposed, and in recent days they have stepped up protests, delivering speeches on the Senate floor for hours and holding vigils on the Capitol steps.

Senator Susan Collins of ME said she's "very concerned" about cuts in coverage for older people with serious, chronic illnesses and the impact on lower-income Americans, as well as the cuts in funding for rural hospitals and nursing homes through Medicaid reductions. Ron Wyden, a leading figure in the Democratic opposition.

Monday's report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could give moderate senators concerned about health care coverage pause. Sen.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn tweeted on Monday that there needs to be a vote on the Senate bill this week "before double digit premium increases are announced for next year".

"There really isn't a reason for those four conservative Republicans not to figure out a way to get to yes", said the ex-Pennsylvania senator and conservative standard-bearer on CNN's "State of the Union".

A Republican bill toughening penalties for disruptive campus protests that passed the state Assembly last week likely won't come up in the Senate until this fall.

Moderate Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she would vote against a GOP procedural motion, expected Wednesday, to begin formally debating the legislation.

Due to the law alone, premiums for individuals in nongroup markets would go up, too, by 20 percent in 2018 and 10 percent in 2019, finally leveling out after 2020.

"They've been wildly off by a huge percentage when they've tried to score people", Spicer said. "This legislation includes the necessary tools to provide it". The Senate bill is largely in line with Obamacare, tying subsidies for people paying for individual coverage to prices where they live and their incomes.

Saturday night in downtown Pittsburgh, Sanders, the Vermont independent who caucuses with the Democrats, rallied more than 1,500 people against the bill on the first leg of a hastily assembled joint barnstorming tour with MoveOn.org. Gov. Kate Brown said the legislation is all about big tax cuts for the wealthy. The ACA, by contrast, was drafted over the course of a year, with more than 100 public hearings.


Senate Republicans have issued a revised version of their health care bill.

Trump bemoaned the lack of help from Democrats on health care.

By using a smaller inflation rate to calculate Medicaid spending, the Urban Institute estimates that the Senate bill cuts Medicaid by $373.6 billion more than the House bill.

In one illustration, an outside political group run by Trump allies has run ads against Heller and threatens more against other GOP senators opposed to the bill.

McConnell has said he's willing to make changes to win support, and in the week ahead, plenty of backroom bargaining is expected.

"Republicans would be wise to read it as a giant stop sign", Schumer told reporters late Monday afternoon. "No matter how the bill changes around the edges, it is fundamentally rotten at the center".

Nevertheless, senior Trump aides have repeatedly sought to cast doubt on the budget office's credibility.

Republicans were critical of CBO estimates on the House version, and had been laying the groundwork to again criticize the budget office as they awaited the new score.

So far, five Republican senators are expressing opposition to the Senate GOP plan that would scuttle much of former President Barack Obama's health law.

Both bills would eliminate enforcement of the ACA's mandate that most Americans carry health insurance, relying on subtler deterrents to keep people from dropping coverage. The GOP bill would unwind that expansion and cap Medicaid payments for the future. It would make the most far-reaching changes and deepest cuts to Medicaid in the program's 52-year history. The CBO concludes that "spending on the program would decline in 2026 by 26 percent" compared to current law.

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