Fifth Republican Senator Steps Forward in Dissent Against Health Care Bill

If it fails to reduce the deficit sufficiently or results in too many people losing insurance coverage, McConnell could fail to secure the 50 GOP votes he needs to secure passage.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, which was released by Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, would significantly cut federal funding for the low-income Medicaid program. The Senate bill doesn't do that, and conservatives want a clear path to Medicaid phase-out before they will support any legislation.

Four conservative senators expressed opposition but openness to talks: Sens. If the four senators - Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Mike Lee, R- Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky. - join Democratic senators in opposing the bill, it will be defeated.

This is the bill with "heart" President Trump told senators he wanted?

Dean Heller says he opposes the GOP bill scuttling much of the Obama health care law, complicating the effort by party leaders to guide the measure through the Senate. People could tap newly created federal tax credits. The statement also said they would be open to negotiation.

Senators had promised that their ACA replacement would be very different than the version that passed the House in May, but the bill instead follows the House's lead in many ways. It is, to borrow President Trump's behind the scenes assessment of the House's bill, mean.

The bill's rolling back of Medicaid expansion was key point of contention for Heller and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Obama, in a statement late this week, said the plan would "raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it", citing the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance. That likely would end the program in MI, one of eight states that expanded Medicaid with the caveat that the expansion would end if federal funding declined. Those additional funds would continue through 2020, then gradually fall and disappear entirely in 2024. And policies contained in the discussion draft will repeal the individual mandate, so Americans are no longer forced to buy insurance they don't need or can't afford; will repeal the employer mandate, so Americans no longer see their hours and take-home pay cut by employers because of it. That would focus the aid more on people with lower incomes than the House legislation, which bases its subsidies on age.

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