He warned in a Wednesday interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network that he would be "very angry" if Congress failed to pass legislation which repeals and replaces large parts of Obamacare, the health reforms of his predecessor Barack Obama.
The new Senate version backed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and released Thursday bids for conservative support by allowing insurers to sell low-priced, slimmed-down policies and added billions to combat opioid abuse and help cut skyrocketing insurance costs. But the inclusion of an amendment proposed by Sen. "Ready to work w/ GOP & Dem colleagues to fix flaws in ACA".
Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) reiterated their worries about the planned cuts to Medicaid and their impact on funding programs to help drug addicts. Will vote no on MTP. With 52 Republican senators, McConnell can afford to lose no more than two.
The new version of the bill did little to assuage concerns of moderate Republicans, who anxious that its deep cuts to Medicaid would harm their most vulnerable residents.
The main Republican criticisms of the existing Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, are that it is too costly and unfairly requires people to purchase health insurance or else face a penalty.
Sen. Paul said the new health care bill is $40 billion away from what he and other conservatives wanted. Former Sen. Rick Santorum has been working with Graham and Cassidy on plan and told CNN, where he is a contributor, that it takes health insurance out of the federal government's hands. The new bill, like earlier versions, would convert Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a system of fixed payments to states.
"I hope the CBO can give us at least some preliminary feedback on the Cruz amendment", Thune said, adding that the HHS will "have a good model for us to look at too".
"I think if this bill fails, I think there is still a chance it will fail, our backup plan should be to divide the bills in two", said Paul. "For years, they've been talking about repeal-replace, repeal-replace".
If just one more senator - in addition to Paul and Collins - opposes the motion to proceed, it will kill the bill.
"We've got the debt ceiling, we've got the FDA user fee, as well as other important legislation that we need to address", McConnell said. But now that the GOP has control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, he believes that the party can actually get the job done this time.
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