Cruz spokesman Phil Novack says the lawmaker said in Austin, Texas, on Sunday that "right now, they don't have my vote". "I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried". Susan Collins has said publicly she's "leaning against" the bill and has always been expected by Senate leaders to end up opposed, with only two firm "no" votes, the effort still has life, as tenuous as it may be.
Cruz didn't expand on why he or Lee, a Republican senator from Utah, now opposes Graham-Cassidy.
That's despite the fact the bill would loosen the rules under the Obama health law - by giving states waivers that would let insurers charge more, or tailor benefits to discourage people with costly conditions from signing up.
McCain, Murkowski and Collins were the three Republican "no" votes who halted another attempt by GOP Senate leaders to repeal and replace Obamacare, the so-called "skinny repeal" bill, which lost in dramatic fashion during a late-night vote in July (Paul backed that legislation).
Short was interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press" and said - four separate times - the bill protects people with pre-existing conditions. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), will participate in a CNN debate that evening, defending their bill against Sens.
A defection by another Republican senator would send the measure to defeat in the Senate, where the GOP has 52-48 majority margin.
McCain's decision - joining Kentucky Sen.
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"Marc Short acknowledges the last-ditch GOP bill remains short of the needed votes". "Here we are, just days away from a final vote, and we're trying to win over the support of the last couple of senators to get there".
Collins' comments were consistent with what she told reporters Friday that she was "leaning against" the bill, according to The Portland Press Herald.
Paul is one of several key GOP senators the White House hopes will support the latest effort to repeal the Obama-era health care law.
A Paul aide said both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had reached out over the past 24 hours, even though past entreaties haven't made any headway.
228469228494228494Kaine: Jamming a health care bill through Congress isn't OKSen. It also would take money earmarked for the law's Medicaid expansion and return it to states in the form of block grants.
The plan also would overhaul Medicaid from a program that doles out federal money to states on a matching basis, relative to how much they spend, to a per-capita model. "The problem I have with block grants is that looks like I've affirmatively said I'm okay with 90 percent of Obamacare as long as we reshuffle it and give it to Republican states". Rand Paul (R-KY), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to get the necessary votes.
Her likely opposition leaves the Republican drive to fulfill one of the party's chief campaign promises dangling by a thread. He jabbed at the senator with another tweet later in the day: "Democrats are laughingly saying that McCain had a "moment of courage".
The White House "just wants a legislative victory, they're not as concerned with the policy", Paul said.