While Trump and other GOP House Reps were celebrating their victory, the Senate may have plans to crush their dreams.
Several Republican senators indicated it was going to be hard to get the measure through the upper chamber.
Sen. Dean Heller, who is up for reelection in 2018, said he wouldn’t support the bill in its current form.
He said in a statement:
“We cannot pull the rug out from under states like Nevada that expanded Medicaid and we need assurances that people with pre-existing conditions will be protected.”
— Seth A. Richardson (@SethARichardson) May 4, 2017
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) made clear his concerns over how the House bill treats Medicaid. While ObamaCare expanded the healthcare program to more low-income Americans, the House bill would eliminate that expansion in 2020.
“I’ve already made clear that I don’t support the House bill as currently constructed,” Portman said in a statement, “because I continue to have concerns that this bill does not do enough to protect Ohio’s Medicaid expansion population, especially those who are receiving treatment for heroin and prescription drug abuse.”
Republicans have a majority but only a slight one, 52-48. With two senators already expressing their dislike for the bill, the bill is at its max for how much support it can lose.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) pointed to the difficulties to come. He highlighted his three priorities for the bill, which include rescuing Americans in areas where their health marketplaces may not have any insurers offering plans in 2018.
“The Senate will now finish work on our bill, but will take the time to get it right,” Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said in a statement.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn voiced his predictions of what will happen:
“We can’t be for half a dozen different proposals; we have to be for a proposal for us to get 51 votes in the Senate. We’ll start with the House bill, but we’ll need to work with every member of the Senate conference to see what they need to get to yes.”
The changes are expected to focus on Medicaid and adding increased financial assistance in the form of tax cuts, to aid low-income households.
The House voted on the bill without a new score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which drew the ire of some lawmakers. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) cited the lack of a CBO score as one of the main reasons why he voted against the bill.
In short, the Senate will probably end up writing a whole different bill. And we have to start over. It’s a long process.
Do you think the Senate can do a better job than the House?