WASHINGTON, D.C.– The GOP on Thursday unveiled an updated version of the Replace and Repeal Act in an effort to convince Conservatives who are still sitting on the fence to jump on board with their answer to Obamacare.
Their efforts came to a screeching halt, however, as three Republican senators, Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Susan Collins, a moderate from Maine and conservative Rand Paul of Kentucky, announced that they were still not impressed by the revision.
With the revised bill, House majority leader, Mitch McConnell, (R)- Kentucky, had hoped to gain the 50 votes he needs to win Senate passage. But based on the reaction of some ultra right Republicans, the changes may not have been enough to bridge the gap between the Senate’s most staunch Conservatives, who have vowed to drive the current plan into the ground, and more moderate Republicans, who have worked to push the legislation through.
For the most part, the new version of the Bill gave broad concessions to right wing Republicans who had declared the initial draft too similar to the Affordable Care Act, which was passed under the Obama administration. Per the updates, Medicaid sections remain the same, meaning that deeper cuts to the program will still be on track to begin in 2025, and the funds for ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid will still end, as scheduled, in 2024. On the opposite end, The Bill includes new funding, $70 billion over seven years, aimed at easing costs for the chronically sick and seriously ill. The Bill also includes $45 billion to fight opioid addiction, but Senators such as Portman who hails from a state where opioid addiction runs rampant, say they also want changes to the Medicaid portion of the legislation.
Despite McConnell’s efforts to strike a fair balance, the result left both sides less than satisfied.
Senator Ted Cruz, (R)- Texas, who supported the changes in the new revision, expressed concern for the outcome of the Bill amid fallout from his fellow Conservatives.
“I think failing to get this done would be really catastrophic,” Mr. Cruz said on the radio station KFYI, “and I don’t think any of the Republican senators want to see failure come out of this.”
Seemingly unphased by Cruz’s open appeal, the three holdouts stood fast in their vow to delay a vote on the legislation.
“My strong inclination and current intention is to vote no on the motion to proceed,” Collins told reporters after leaving a hearing on the legislation.
“The only way I’d change my mind is if there’s something in the new bill that wasn’t discussed or that I didn’t fully understand or the CBO estimate comes out and says they fixed the Medicaid cuts, which I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Read the updated changes to the Bill via the link below: https://www.scribd.com/document/353689897/BetterCareJuly13-2017#from_embed