Fifth Republican senator opposes chamber's health-care bill

"It's a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America", Obama said on Thursday in a 1,000-word post on Facebook. Yesterday 43 protesters were arrested at the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen.

Nevada Senator Dean Heller announced he will not vote for the American Health Care Act as it is now written, making him the fifth GOP senator to say they won't vote for the bill since it was released Thursday morning.

"In this form, I will not support it", he told a news conference in Las Vegas on Friday.

McConnell has acknowledged that he's willing to change the measure before it's voted on.

"This bill now in front of the United States Senate is not the answer".

ACA: Insurers required to cover essential health benefits, such as hospital visits and mental health care.

Hours after McConnell unveiled the bill Thursday, four other GOP senators said they also opposed the measure and several others expressed qualms about it.

The state could opt to keep up the coverage, but Wolf administration officials have said the costs would be astronomical-likely more than $4 billion.

"You know, health care is a very hard situation ..." She says she'd like to see a more open debate.

The federal government's share of funding for Medicaid, which is jointly run with individual states, would fall over the course of seven years to end up at around 57 percent of the cost of that program, which offers health coverage to the poor.

Shortly after the 142-page bill was distributed, more than a half-dozen GOP lawmakers signaled concerns or initial opposition.

While Senator John McCain (right) generally praised the bill, he added that he still needed more time to study it before deciding if he'd support it.

"This is a bad bill", Minnesota Sen.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins and some others are anxious about the bill rolling back Obamacare's expansion of Medicare and putting limits on federal funding of the program. He also called it "an important and constructive first step in repealing Obamacare" making way for a "better, stable" system, in a statement released on Twitter. "That means the money available under this bill, for Medicaid in the out years, beyond 10 years, is even leaner, is even less, is even a deeper cut than what's in the House bill".

Another example: The Senate bill appears to be kinder than the House bill to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, who can not be denied coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The Senate version is expected to be scored as early as next week.

Under Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, states were eligible to expand their Medicaid programs - providing health insurance to low-income people. That would focus the aid more on people with lower incomes than the House legislation, which bases its subsidies on age.

But it then allows states to opt out of that requirement.

AP writer Regina Garcia Cano reported from Las Vegas.

  • Leroy Wright