New blow to GOP health bill: Nevada GOP Sen. Heller opposes

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Sen. Susan Collins of ME says she thinks getting the votes needed in the Senate this week to pass a Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act could be very hard.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said Friday he will not vote for the Senate's Obamacare replacement bill as now written.

In nearly the exact words used yesterday by Collins, Heller said he could not support any bill that took away health insurance from "tens of millions of people". Veteran Senator John McCain said the draft bill was better than Obamacare in "100 ways", but like many Senators wanted to study the bill further and consult with his state's governor. McConnell is working to get other Republican holdouts to back the health-care bill for a possible vote next week, as he begins to separate those who can be won over with modest changes and those who may have unbridgeable concerns.

Trump made the admission during a Fox News interview when he fielded a question about former President Barack Obama's response to the bill.

Heller is the first Republican senator to rule out supporting the bill over its spending constraints to Medicaid. Critics of the bill say those increases will not keep up with rising health care costs. Sen.

But the end may be in sight: Sen McConnell has said he could call for a vote on the bill next week.

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Senate Republicans Work To Gather Votes To Pass Health Care Bill
Shortly after the 142-page bill was distributed, more than a half-dozen GOP lawmakers signaled concerns or initial opposition. A majority of GOP senators told the publication that they're not sure where they stand while four, including Sen.

The Congressional Budget Office, which offers non-partisan analysis, estimated that under the House version of the health care bill, 23 million fewer Americans would have health insurance by 2026, largely due to shrinking Medicaid eligibility.

The lengthy proposal only came out last week, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to begin voting this week.

"My view is, that the Affordable Care Act has problems", he said. "Scott there says that Medicaid's not being cut from their perspective, but based on what we see right now in the bill there's just no way that's true", Zwillich says.

U.S. President Donald Trump is bemoaning what he calls "the level of hostility" among the parties that has stymied bipartisanship. "I think we're going to get there", he said. Under the Senate GOP plan, all this coverage is at risk. It also would provide more generous tax subsidies than the House bill to help low-income people buy private insurance.

- Gives each state a fixed amount of Medicaid funding, forcing states to make cuts when money runs out. "People aren't out here because it's super fun to be in the spitting rain, protesting for hours, people are out here because it's literally life or death", Vashti Bandi of South Philadelphia said.

As as Congress wrangles over implementing a new health care law, Republican and Democratic senators have not agreed on much, but there was one area where two lawmakers on opposite sides of the aisle found common ground on the issue on Sunday. "But we won't get one Democratic vote - not one".

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