Senate close to vote on dismantle health law

Posted June 22, 2017

The survey finds overall Republican support for the House effort - 64 percent of GOP voters nationally back the legislation - but overwhelming Democratic opposition combined with a concern among some Republicans would make selling the legislation hard both in Congress as well as in lawmakers' districts.

Other details about the direction Senate Republicans were heading became a little bit more clear.

We could have supported a bill that was passed with only Republican support that utilized similar trickery that Democrats used in 2009 to pass the Affordable Care Act.

The House of Representatives already has passed its version of an Obamacare repeal.

Republican senators complained about their party's secretive health care bill Wednesday, a day before GOP leaders planned to finally release their plan for erasing much of President Barack Obama's health care law.

The House passed its version in May, while the Senate measure is now being drafted by 13 male Republican senators who have kept the process and details of the bill tightly under wraps.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is dead set on keeping the pressure on Senate Republicans to vote on their version of Obamacare repeal before Congress leaves for the July 4 recess. A vote could come as soon as next week, several senators said. Another possibility was letting states drop some coverage requirements that Obama's law imposes on insurers, they said. Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price both attended the Republican senators' lunch Tuesday in a show of support.

Pence, who has substantially more legislative experience than Trump, has attend a luncheon with Senate Republicans almost every week, checking in on the health care process as a liaison for the White House. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., has been one of the most vocal advocates for Obamacare repeal.

But Sally Pipes president and CEO of the San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute, a nonprofit that promotes limited government, said the heightened concerns can probably be attributed to "fear of the unknown - people are uncertain about what the repeal-and-replace plan will look like, " she said. But Senator John Thune, a member of the Republican leadership, said on Tuesday the phase-out in the bill might just be three years. Rand Paul, R-Ky., seemed skeptical that McConnell's package would go far enough in dismantling Obama's law, a concern shared by other congressional conservatives.

"Republicans are writing their healthcare bill under the cover of darkness because they are ashamed of it", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer charged.

In this April 6, 2017 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. "That's what we're told it might be", said Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. But as of now, victory is not guaranteed and he stopped short of definitely scheduling the vote for next week.

Crafting the legislation behind closed doors "alienates a lot of people but it's the only way to do it", Krauthammer said. Republicans like Barrasso see the bill as a win for the GOP and for the promises they made on the campaign trail. And another conservative, Sen.