CBO Says Senate Health Care Plan Will Cut Deficit

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell of Ky. center talks with his chief of staff Sharon Soderstrom right and communications staff director Antonia Ferrier left as they walk to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington Monday

Facing resistance from their own party, Senate Republican leaders said Tuesday they would postpone a vote on their health care bill until after the July Fourth recess.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he is delaying a vote on a Senate health care bill while GOP leadership works toward getting enough votes. With unanimous Democratic opposition, the bill could only afford to lose two GOP votes and pass, and at least five GOP senators were opposed to beginning debate on the bill.

But GOP tension burst open after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that 22 million more Americans would lose insurance coverage under the plan and that out-of-pocket costs for many of those buying policies on the Affordable Care Act marketplace would rise.

Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME announced Monday night that she would vote against a procedural motion on the Senate health care repeal bill and said that unless the bill changed significantly she would vote against the bill itself.

Republican senators were meeting Tuesday afternoon at the White House to to discuss the next steps.

"We're going to press on", McConnell said.

According to a Lee aide briefed on the conversation, which lasted about 10 to 15 minutes, the majority of the call was about the middle-class voters who voted for Trump in 2016. The pressure is on for them to deliver, now that they control the White House, House of Representatives and Senate.

Three Republican senators - Collins, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin - had announced they would vote against the motion to begin debate that had been scheduled to hit the Senate floor Wednesday, joining senator Dean Heller of Nevada, who made the same pledge Friday.

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Still, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters, "I would not bet against Mitch McConnell". The bill would cut taxes, reduce the deficit, and phase out the Medicaid expansion implemented by Barack Obama's health law.

Republican senators planned to travel to the White House later to meet with Mr Trump.

The CBO also predicted the Senate legislation would increase consumers' out of pocket costs because standard policies would be skimpier than now offered.

The 22 million additional people without coverage is just a hair better than the 23 million who'd be left without insurance under the measure the House approved last month, the budget office has estimated.

Democrats said they're planning to keep up the fight against the Republican legislation. After the CBO report's release, he was joined by Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Susan Collins of ME and Mike Lee of Utah in saying they would refuse to bring the bill to the Senate floor.

"My problem with the Senate bill as it now exists is that we don't fix that", Paul said".

McConnell wants to win Senate passage this week.

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