Senate to delay vote on Republican healthcare bill


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed the vote for the revised version, planned for this week, after Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, doesn't want to proceed to the bill because it would actually address rampant Medicaid spending. "John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye on Friday, July 14, at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix", read the statement. Several Republican senators have expressed reservations or outright opposition to the new version as well, and Republicans need McCain's vote to have any chance of passing it.

But congressional aides, lobbyists and state officials said Saturday night that Senate leaders should rethink their strategy after being forced to postpone consideration of the repeal bill, which opinion polls show to be highly unpopular.

"I believe as soon as we have a full contingent of senators, that we'll have that vote", he said.

"While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations, and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act", McConnell, R-Ky., said on Saturday.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday, but Trump has been urging lawmakers to pass the bill, saying he is waiting with pen in hand. Without McCain, Republicans would not have had the 50 votes necessary to advance the bill.

The Senate revised its health care plan this week in hopes of mollifying lawmakers anxious that the legislation would hurt their constituents.

The delay will give the CBO more time to score McConnell's latest bill, although it's not clear it will be enough to allow them to fully examine a new amendment from Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas that would allow insurers to offer stripped-down plans that exclude people with pre-existing conditions, charge women more, and offer far skimpier benefits.

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The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of NY, said Sunday that he did not think delaying the vote would change the outcome.

The bill still repeals most of the Obamacare taxes, but now leaves some taxes on the wealthiest Americans in place.

Among the proposed changes to Medicaid, the BCRA, would phase out the Medicaid expansion established by the Affordable Care Act, which extended the program to those making between 100% to 138% of the federal poverty limit.

"Have no doubt", Mr. McCain said in a statement.

Insurers have remained largely on the sidelines, even as doctor and hospital groups and consumer advocates have battled against the Republican bills in the House and Senate.

"There are about eight to 10 Republican senators who have serious concerns about this bill", Collins said on CNN's "State of the Union".

On July 16, Cornyn appeared on Meet the Press to make the case for the GOP bill and made statements misrepresenting the bill, the current insurance market under the Affordable Care Act, and Democrats' alternatives to improve the insurance market - and Todd let him. This addition could bring down costs for some, but has caused contention with some moderate senators because it could hurt those with pre-existing conditions.