Vote on health care bill delayed until after July 4 recess

Kara Lofton  West Virginia Public Broadcasting

"We're the first to say we want to sit down and talk to you about it, but we are not going to be in a position where we say, 'OK, only 15 million people will be uncovered, we'll support that bill, '" Schumer said.

"The president wants to get this done and done right", White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Capitol Hill, saying that the meeting would be an opportunity for the president and senators to discuss a path forward.

She said the bill as now drafted by GOP leaders won't ensure access to affordable health care in West Virginia, doesn't do enough to fight the opioid epidemic, cuts traditional Medicaid too deeply and harms rural health care providers.

McConnell, R-Ky., was hoping Tuesday to staunch his party's rebellion, a day after the Congressional Budget Office released its report.

The Maine senator had already been a critic of the secret process under which the bill was written. Asked if the legislation could ever attract enough support, she said, "I don't know".

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"The schedule may have changed a little bit", said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. "We're actually close to an agreement, but there are some important differences remaining".

President Donald Trump says that if the health care bill fails to pass in the Senate, he won't like it - but "that's OK".

The Senate's bill largely resembled the House's American Health Care Act, but it has more gradual and deeper cuts to Medicaid and also links subsidies to income rather than age.

The Kentucky Senator announced that he would be meeting with Trump to voice his objections to the GOP Senate health care bill Monday morning.

Minutes after the report's release, three GOP senators threatened to oppose beginning debate. Susan Collins said she would vote no on a motion to proceed with consideration of the bill.

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However, the fate of the Senate measure remains in doubt, with five GOP legislators going on record last week that they can not support the bill as written.

Moderate Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., on Friday said he'd oppose the procedural motion without alterations. The CBO estimated that, under the Senate proposal, 22 million Americans would their health insurance coverage by 2026. Conservatives said the bill does not do enough to erase Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature domestic legislation.

"The Senate Republican healthcare bill would lead to thousands of Delawareans losing their health insurance and cause premiums to rise dramatically for older Delawareans", Carney said.

It would let states ease Obama's requirements that insurers cover certain specified services like substance abuse treatments. In 2026, average premiums would be about 20 percent lower than they would be under Obamacare.

Senator Angus King, an independent, lamented the lack of presidential leadership to guide the legislation that he said runs counter to Mr Trump's promises to insure everyone, cut costs and protect those with pre-existing conditions. That's because standard policies would be skimpier than now offered under Obama's law, covering a smaller share of expected medical costs.

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