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Concerned GOP senators meet with Trump after delayed healthcare vote

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said the bill would “hit millions of working people and seniors like a wrecking ball”.Senate Republicans released a 142-page draft of its long-awaited healthcare reform bill Thursday, following weeks of secretive deliberations within the GOP which allowed no Senate hearings and no Democratic amendments.Addressing reporters Sunday, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican said passing a health care bill won’t get any easier if Republican leaders delay a Senate vote on the GOP health care plan. Sen.Paul has said it is worse to “pass a bad bill than to pass no bill”.The 142-page bill proposes cuts to Medicaid and erases tax boosts that President Barack Obama imposed on high-earners and medical companies to finance his expansion of coverage under the Affordable Care Act.The CBO found that the proposal would save the government $321 billion over the next decade, largely due to $772 billion in Medicaid cuts. John Cornyn (R-TX) asks a question during the confirmation hearing for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for the director of the CIA, Rep.éŠMike Pompeo (R-KS) before the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee on January 12, 2017 in Washington, DC. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-NY, said the bill can not be fixed despite McConnell’s plan to allow senators to make changes before a final vote.Other Republicans, like Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, had previously expressed misgivings, and Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska declined to say Sunday how he would vote. By the budget office’s measure, the Senate bill would leave 49 million individuals without insurance by 2026.The budget office report said the Senate bill’s coverage losses would especially affect people between ages 50 and 64, before they qualify for Medicare, and with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level, or around $30,300 for an individual.Failing to win sufficient backing within their own Republican ranks, Senate GOP leaders on Tuesday postponed a vote on their plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act.The 22 million extra uninsured Americans were just 1 million fewer than the number the budget office estimated would become uninsured under the House version.Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and several other moderate GOP senators have also expressed concerns about the measure’s impact on coverage.The US Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business lobby, has urged Republican lawmakers to support the repeal-and-replace bills all along.In a statement, the left-leaning advocacy group Families USA called the Senate bill “more harmful and equally heartless” than the House-passed bill.In undermining the ACA, the Senate bill eliminates enforcement of the health care mandate, and replaces federal subsidies with smaller tax credits that will make it more hard for older populations to access insurance.Such is their majority in the Senate, Republicans can afford to lose two Senators and still see the bill approved when it is voted on next week. “We don’t have too much of a choice, because the alternative is the dead carcass of Obamacare”. The bill repeals the medical device tax that unfairly penalizes American manufacturers, and zeros out the employer mandate penalties.Monday’s report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could give moderate senators concerned about health care coverage pause.