Fifth Republican Senator Comes Out Against Senate Health Care Bill

"NAMI opposes this effort to decimate our nation's already struggling mental health system", the organization said in a written statement. The impact for consumers would go well beyond "Obamacare". Of course, the other big piece of this bill that has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act is a capping of federal funding for the Medicaid program, which is something that Republicans have been trying to do since Ronald Reagan was president.

While health care is still unfinished, Trump took pride on Friday in signing a bill to make it easier to fire workers at the much-criticized Department of Veterans Affairs. For states that opted into the expansion, people whose household incomes were up to 138% of the federal poverty level could qualify for coverage.

House Republicans have passed their health care bill, and Senate GOP leaders are driving toward a vote next week.

Donald Trump's bull-in-a-china-shop approach to the presidency hasn't helped him notch significant victories on Capitol Hill over his first five months in office. While praising the administration for talking about the issue and forming an opioid commission to look into the problem, Kolodny said it's time for the Trump team to act. The Senate bill would eliminate the enhanced federal funding for the program by 2024, probably resulting in low-income adults being kicked off the rolls. Back in March, when TrumpCare appeared doomed in the House, markets stumbled, with Wall Street strategists marking down their expectations for the rest of President Trump's agenda, including tax cuts and infrastructure spending. Instead, Republicans propose a per-beneficiary cap. That includes phasing out extra money Obama's statute gives states that have expanded the program, a step Nevada has taken, adding 200,000 additional people.

Through that expansion, millions have gained coverage.

Governors of both parties have warned Congress that would mean a cost shift to states that undermines coverage for the vulnerable.

"It's going to be very hard to get me to a yes", he said, noting that conservative Republican senators would likely be reluctant to add spending back to the measure. "Senate Republicans are paying for tax cuts for the wealthy with American lives". "Without health insurance, people must often choose between putting food on the table and receiving the medical care they need".

But the human consequences could be politically volatile.

While President Obama issued an executive order forbidding taxpayer dollars from funding abortions under the health care law, many - including then-president of the USA bishops, the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago - insisted that would not offer sufficient guarantee against taxpayer dollars funding abortions.

The problem our country has is how to help people who are in the lowest economic straits, who have the most health challenges, get access to affordable coverage and, indeed, get well. Progress has stalled, partly because "Obamacare" is politically divisive.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell smiles as he leaves the chamber after announcing the release of the Republicans' health care bill. John McCain has said how he will vote.

With Republicans in the Senate holding only a 52-48 seat edge, they can afford only two defections to get to a 50-50 tie, allowing Vice President Pence to then presumably break any logjam.

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