GOP eyes Senate health care vote next week, amid grumbling

Posted June 22, 2017

Heading into a GOP Senate lunch, some lawmakers said that big questions on the bill, such as whether it will include state waivers for Obamacare's Essential Health Benefits, remained unanswered.

Democrats drafted it and passed it without help or input from Republicans, and although President Barack Obama and his team meant well, Americans blamed them every time a shortcoming or flaw was exposed in the health care law.

Alaska moderate Lisa Murkowski said she didn't know how she'd vote, adding, "I have no idea what the deal is".

On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that there's "more work to do" before the bill adequately cuts premiums. Moderates favored a seven-year phase-out, but the Senate leadership proposed three years starting in 2020.

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

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Ky.) also posted a video to Facebook saying the GOP bill should have been released "weeks ago" if it was going to be voted on next week.

"In 2010, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress "[has] to pass the bill so you can find out what's in it".

Senators Pat Toomey and Orrin Hatch, also rumoured to be members of the working group, told reporters they, too had not seen the bill.

"The Senate is not a place where you can just cook up something behind closed doors and rush it for a vote", Sen.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, defending the closed-door sessions, has said all Senate Republicans have had a chance to participate in meetings on the bill, and that Democrats are not interested in overhauling Obamacare.

Sen. Cory Gardner expressed disappointment that "we have a Washington, D.C., so fundamentally broken that both sides of the aisle can't come together to fix" health care.

Senate Republicans will begin their sprint to dismantle Obamacare by finally unveiling their super-secret plan today before racing to build support ahead of a looming Fourth of July recess. They unanimously oppose the GOP bill but lack the votes to defeat it. If we don't, we'll blame Republicans, who left us with expectations for a health care bill that's affordable and terrific. "It's really just Republicans really not making it a public forum", said Oliver. That might satisfy Republican senators from states that expanded their programs, but conservatives have wanted to halt the extra expenditures quickly.

Republican senators plan to unveil a draft of their health care bill Thursday that would dramatically overhaul Medicaid by providing a fixed amount of money per person instead of open-ended payments, according to a report.