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Senate GOP Shelves Health Bill, Imperils ‘Obamacare’ Repeal

On Tuesday, Senate GOP leaders abruptly delayed the vote on the health care bill until after July 4 recess.For families with lower incomes, the bill would repeal a tax penalty for people who do not get health insurance, saving them $38 billion over the next decade. VoteVets launched a six-figure ad campaign in two states, mostly to pressure moderate Sen.”I have so many fundamental problems with the bill, that have been confirmed by the CBO report, that it’s hard to see how any tinkering is going to satisfy my fundamental and deep concerns about the bill”, Collins said on CNN. While somewhat different than the AHCA, the Senate’s proposal has received virtually the same chilly reception from lawmakers concerned about the millions of Americans the law will leave uninsured.While Portman and other Republicans said the existing health care law, the Affordable Care Act, was driving up premiums and harming hardworking Ohioans, the Congressional Budget Office said the proposed Senate Republican replacement would drive 22 million people from health coverage and push up premiums for older Americans dramatically.According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Senate plan would reduce the cumulative federal deficit by $321 billion between 2017 and 2026.Republicans from both sides of the aisle have expressed deep reservations about the bill since it was unveiled late last week.”I would not bet against Mitch McConnell”, his House counterpart, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters. But minutes before news broke of an imminent delay, the White House scrambled to invite senators to discuss the issues.As it stands now, McConnell can afford to lose only two Republican votes in light of party-wide opposition from Senate Democrats.And it runs smack into the wall of resistance from a clutch of Senate conservatives – Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski had similar concerns to Collins’. “We are going to see what we are going to do”.Sens. Rob Portman of OH and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia announced in a joint statement Tuesday afternoon that they were opposed to the Senate health care bill, bringing up the total tally of “no” votes to nine.Still, the discussion, several senators said, was positive, constructive and not tense – a change from the last 10 days leading up to what was expected to be a vote on the bill later this week.Another Republican source close to the health care process told CNN that the Heller ad was a key error. “And that is OK and I understand that very well”.Senator Capito: “I came to Washington to make the lives of West Virginians better”. “But I think we have a chance to do something very, very important for the public – very, very important for the people of our country that we love”.Top Senate Republicans pledged on Tuesday that the caucus would return to its healthcare legislation next month, but needed more time to work out significant differences remaining with the caucus. They usually characterize this move as calculated to give “flexibility” or “control” to states and preach fiscal prudence – the current Senate bill calls their cuts a “Medicaid Flexibility Program”, for instance.It would cut Medicaid, which provides health insurance to more than 70 million poor and disabled people, by 772 billion dollars through until 2026 by capping its overall spending and phasing out Mr Obama’s expansion of the programme.While there are more than 21 million veterans in the USA, only about 8 million receive health care from the VA.The House later revived its bill, but in the aftermath of the initial failure, the White House dispatched deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh to America First Policies. This bill slashes Medicaid funding, brings back pre-existing conditions and drastically increases health costs for those over 50 years of age. She deserves praise from all West Virginians.