Senate GOP leaders are scrambling to save their Obamacare repeal bill Tuesday after at least four Republican senators signaled they may block the legislation from advancing.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence are working to win over Republican holdouts Tuesday in the aftermath of a Monday evening CBO report projecting 22 million people would be newly uninsured under the GOP plan. Leaders have chips to play with though — there’s about $188 billion in savings they can put back into the bill to win back skeptical Republicans. This could include more money for health savings accounts to appease conservatives like Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, or more Medicaid money dedicated to opioid treatment.
So far, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Rand Paul (Ky.), Dean Heller (Nev.) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) have signaled they could oppose a key procedural vote required to move the bill forward. That would be enough to halt progress before the July 4 recess, when leaders are aiming to hold a vote.
By Tuesday afternoon, Senate leaders may know whether they could call a vote on their health bill this week or push it back until next month.
Here’s the latest on the repeal effort:
Ryan optimistic about Senate bill, 9:30 a.m.: House Speaker Paul Ryan is sounding hopeful about the Senate repeal bill’s prospects. "I think they’re going to do it," he said during an interview Tuesday morning on Fox News. “It’s the biggest signature issue we have and it’s the biggest promise we’ve ever made in the modern era. We said if we get elected we will repeal and replace Obamacare. We did this in the House. It’s now the Senate’s turn.”