Senate GOP releases health care bill to cut Medicaid, dismantle 'Obamacare'

Senate GOP releases health care bill to cut Medicaid, dismantle 'Obamacare'

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol after Republicans released their long-awaited bill to scuttle much of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017.

Appearing next to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, also a Republican, Heller announced his opposition to the legislation, highlighting the Better Care Act's proposed substantial cuts to Medicaid.

Menendez said the Senate's bill to repeal Obamacare could ultimately slash $30 billion in Medicaid funding in New Jersey, where more than a half-million people enrolled under Medicaid expansion could lose coverage.

Budget reconciliation would allow Senate Republicans to pass their healthcare overhaul with only 50 votes, as opposed to the 60 required for normal legislation, allowing the GOP to avoid a Democratic filibuster.

Lawmakers intend to vote on the Senate's Obamacare replacement plan before their July 4 recess.

Heller, who is up for reelection in 2018, has expressed concerns about the way the measure addresses the future of Medicaid.

"You've got states across the country, including Pennsylvania, that have to balance their budget", he said.

Democrats formed a united front against the controversial measure that was drafted in secret, criticizing it as a "war on Medicaid", the health care program for lower income Americans, and calling it a worse plan than one that passed the House of Representatives in May.

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Far short of "repeal", the Senate bill keeps the Democrats' broken system intact, just with less spending on the poor to pay for corporate bailouts and tax cuts.

"I have a hard time believing Wisconsin constituents or myself will have enough time to properly evaluate this for me to vote for a motion to proceed", he said.

Republicans view the law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, as a costly government intrusion and say individual insurance markets created by it are collapsing. "Lower premiums and I will happily be part of it", Cruz said. A fourth said he anxious the process was rushed.

US Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a revamped health care plan aimed at fulfilling President Donald Trump's pledge to repeal Obamacare, but a revolt by four conservatives put the bill in immediate jeopardy.

The Senate bill would make the payments through 2019, but then cut them off.

Nevada is one of 31 states and the District of Columbia that opted to expand their Medicaid programs.

As he has multiple times since the ACA's passage in 2010, Obama conceded that the bill was less than ideal and vowed to support any Republican-backed bill that "is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost".

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