Collins: Eight to 10 Republican senators have serious concerns about health bill

US National Library of Medicine

Those are no brainers for any conservative health care insurance reform, but they required weeks of hard negotiating by Cruz and thousands of phone calls from grassroots conservatives to get the message through to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Senate's establishment Republicans.

According to WIBC host Tony Katz, however, the cold reality is that Republicans don't have the votes needed to pass their legislation anyway, so what happens without this bill?

The Senate health bill isn't about healthcare at all-it's a wealth transfer: slashes care to fund tax cuts for the wealthy & corporations. It would be likely to yield lower premiums than keeping Obamacare as it is - although supporters of the bill should be careful not to promise too much on this front.

Conservative critics will now have more time to mobilize, said Sen. "We need Senator McCain in more ways than one".

Collins said, "There are about eight to 10 Republican senators who have serious concerns about this bill".

The Republican bill is aimed at fulfilling President Donald Trump's pledge to repeal Obamacare, the signature health insurance achievement of former Democratic President Barack Obama, which covers some 20 million Americans. "It's not at all consistent with Republican principles".

Trump did not mention the health care bill or McCain's surgery in a series of tweets Sunday morning in which he mentioned Hillary Clinton and the Russian Federation investigations now engulfing the administration, among other topics.

Have House Speaker Ryan and Senate President McConnell invite all 50 governors and members of the congressional Democrat leadership to a working session.

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In a statement issued Thursday, Lee said the new bill "is substantially different from the version released last month, and it is unclear to me whether it has improved". The "very deep cuts" to Medicaid that are included in the bill "would affect some of the most vulnerable people in our society", Collins said.

"They are subsidizing the death spiral of Obamacare", Paul said.

Both senators raised doubts about wider Republican support for the bill.

Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union", Sen.

Asked if McConnell has the votes for passage, Paul was blunt.

But the health care legislation was already hanging by a thread. "And so my effort is to achieve the best outcome possible as measured by lowering premiums to make health insurance more affordable", Cruz concluded with undeniable logic. "But yes, I believe that when we have a full contingent of Senators that we'll have that vote and it's important that we do so", Cornyn added. He will not be able to vote. "It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people now enrolled in the individual market".

The bill unwinds Obamacare's Medicaid expansion over three years, from 2021 to 2024. And the Senate bill is already "incredibly unpopular".

Lee and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had been working together on what they called the Consumer Freedom Amendment, meant to allow health insurers to offer some limited, lower-cost plans that don't comply with Obamacare requirements.

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