What's next on health care draft in Congress

The Senate would end the tax penalties Obama's law created for people not buying insurance and larger employers not offering coverage to workers.

"I have said from the beginning that there is an agreement to be reached, and I believe we can get to yes", Cruz said.

"We agreed on the need to free Americans from Obamacare's mandates - so Americans are no longer forced to buy insurance they don't need or can't afford", McConnell said on the floor. "Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo".

Democrats immediately attacked the legislation as a callous giveaway to the rich that would leave millions without coverage. It's about the character of our country - who we are, and who we aspire to be. "Surely we can do better than what the Republican healthcare bill promises", said Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer.

Democrats were quick to point out that they were not involved in any capacity with the drafting of the new health care bill, which Republicans drafted under reconciliation behind closed doors and out-of-committee hearings.

On the other hand, Sens. Dean Heller and Susan Collins have also withheld support. And Susan Collins of ME reiterated her opposition to language blocking federal money for Planned Parenthood, which many Republicans oppose because it provides abortions.

"I just find it very hard to conceive that I'll be able to gather all the information I need to justify a yes vote", Wisconsin's Ron Johnson told Politico.

In an interview with Fox News Channel, Trump was asked about the four conservatives opposing the bill.

Sen. Dan Sullivan also said he'd examine the proposal. Bob Corker and Mike Rounds both responded "we'll see".

But Republicans, struggling to make good on a more than half-decade old pledge to dismantle Obama's signature piece of public policy, are plunging forward nonetheless.

Trump urged the House of Representatives to pass a similar Bill in May, only to criticise it in private as "mean" once it passed.

And also unlike the House bill, the Senate plan would provide millions of Americans with federal subsidies to pay insurance premiums by accounting for how much health plans tend to cost in different communities - the same approach taken by the ACA.

McConnell said in the chamber that a fresh CBO score on the new bill was expected next week, and there will be "robust debate" on the floor. But the approved increases will likely be lower, and individual health premium increases tend to vary widely.

The 142-page proposal, worked out in secret by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) with other Republican leaders, was welcomed by President Donald Trump.

Ending Obama's expansion has caused major rifts among GOP senators. Some from states that have expanded the program have battled to prolong the phase-out, while conservative Republicans have sought to halt the funds quickly.

The Senate measure would phase out the extra money Obama provided to expand the federal-state Medicaid program for the poor and disabled to millions of additional low earners. Over time, however, Medicaid cuts will be even deeper than the $800 billion the House bill cuts. "Since then, almost 34,000 Alaskans have received life-saving care-and peace of mind knowing they have health care coverage". They would all agree that not just any plan that lowers taxes paid by the rich and cuts healthcare benefits for the poor the sick, and the elderly will meet our nation's needs with big Medicare benefits and medicaid benefits being cut. Under the proposed bill, insurance companies may not be required to include birth control coverage in any plan.

"The bottom line is that Americans don't support this bill".

  • Leroy Wright