Moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins, who opposes the bill, said that the major concern for her were the cuts to Medicaid, the government health insurance programme for the poor. "This will allow members to hear unfiltered and unbiased analysis of how the bill will affect their states and the health and financial security of the constituents they represent, including the impact of Medicaid cuts to vulnerable populations like children, people with disabilities, and people with pre-existing conditions".
Our answer is yes, this is a first step toward the full repeal of Obamacare, and - given the weak-kneed Republican leadership on Capitol Hill - this is as close as we are going to get for the moment. The Senate version is called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.
According to WIBC host Tony Katz, however, the cold reality is that Republicans don't have the votes needed to pass their legislation anyway, so what happens without this bill?
Eight to 10 Republican US senators are said to have serious concerns about Republican healthcare legislation to dismantle and replace Obamacare, meaning that one of President Donald Trump's key campaign promises is still no closer to becoming a reality.More news: Canada's Dominion Diamond accepts sweetened bid from U.S. billionaire
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Moreover, Republican Senator John McCain is recovering from surgery in hospital.
The GOP has also been criticized for working on their health care bill behind closed doors.
Cruz said he was encouraged that the updated Senate bill focuses on lowering consumers' premiums, both through his amendment and the proposal to let people use pre-tax money to pay for their insurance premiums.
A provision championed by Republican Senator Ted Cruz and aimed at attracting conservatives would let insurers sell cheap, bare-bones insurance policies that would not have to cover broad benefits mandated under Obamacare.