Five GOP senators now oppose health bill-enough to sink it

Heller, who faces re-election in 2018 in the Democratic-leaning state, said on Friday: "I can not support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans". The bill also makes major cuts and structural changes to Medicaid, a health insurance program relied upon by almost 75 million Americans - primarily low-income, disabled, and elderly. It would also slap annual spending caps on the overall Medicaid program, which since its inception in 1965 has provided states with unlimited money to cover eligible costs.

Trump has spoken favorably about both the House-passed bill and the Senate version unveiled this week, though he declared several times as he ramped up his campaign for the presidency that he would not cut Medicaid.

And in a separate statement, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown says the GOP Senate bill would hamper the state's progress in slowing the opioid epidemic, calling Medicaid the "number one tool" in the fight against opioids.

Most senators got their first look at the bill as it was released Thursday morning, and some immediately voiced concerns.

A handful of Republicans - more than Mr. McConnell can afford to lose - were quick to disparage the measure.

"What I've told leadership very clearly is I'm going to need time and my constituents are going to need time to evaluate exactly how this is going to affect them", Johnson said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., would not commit his support to the replacement plan because he needs feedback from health care experts in SC. "It's hard for me to see the bill passing this week".

"Page by page, this Republican plan forces Americans to pay more for less, less comprehensive health care coverage", said Sen. It also would provide more generous tax subsidies than the House bill to help low-income people buy private insurance. However, these four conservatives expressed their willingness to support changes with Paul explicitly stating he was "open to negotiations".

Indiana Republican Party chairman Kyle Hupfer says the Senate legislation is all part of the GOP promise to repeal and replace the ACA. As five conservatives are now against the bill.

"I regret that our Democratic friends made clear early on that they did not want to work with us in a serious, bipartisan way to address the Obamacare status quo". "We'll have to see". Heller said he thought the bill would harm the elderly, the disabled and people battling substance abuse, adding that he is "not confident" it will lower costs for consumers.

"There's still an opportunity to make this bill better", he said.

  • Zachary Reyes