Hours after Trump cares passing in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate Republicans said that the Tea Party’s health care overhaul could undergo a complete makeover on the Senate floor.
Senators Have their Own Version of the Bill
Senators unveiled that they already have their own version of the bill which is supposed to dismantle and replace Obamacare. So, they will not have to vote on the version that House Speaker Paul Ryan and aides rushed through the House Thursday.
According to sources, a dozen lawmakers are hammering a new proposal that could include provisions that have been recently passed by the House. The new version, however, will not the based on the House bill.
There will be a Senate bill, but it will look at what the House has done and see how much of that we can incorporate in a product that works for us,”
Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, told reporters.
Another senator briefed on the matter said he “was told” his colleagues in the upper body of Congress are working on another draft. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn confirmed that Senate Republicans have been meeting for weeks, while the House leaders were desperately trying to squeeze a few more votes to pass the measure.
Cornyn unveiled that the whole deal would have been a “moot issue” had the House not passed the bill Thursday. The lawmaker added that he is very proud of his colleagues in the lower chamber. “Now it’s up to us to pass a bill 51 senators can agree to,” Cornyn added.
After the passage, House Republicans were invited to the White House to celebrate the feat. In the meantime, though, their colleagues in the Senate voiced deep skepticism about the possibility of the bill ever turning into law.
Senate Republicans Voice Concerns
Sen. Susan Collins from Maine slammed the House version because it left the Senators with “more questions than answers about its consequences.” The Senator voiced concern about the provisions that cut federal subsidies to people who buy insurance on individual markets.
Collins underscored that the House version ignored income levels and healthcare costs based on states when it established tax credits. The lawmaker was primarily concerned about the lower-earning Americans in the countryside.
Collins also criticized the current version because it trims funding to the education of children with special needs and it gives states the green light to opt out of federal protections given to the patients living with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, and other chronic illnesses.
The senator called for the Congressional Budget Office to make a full assessment of the impact of the new measure on the premiums, coverage, and costs. She hinted that her colleagues should have waited for the office’s analysis before voting on the bill. The CBO said a report would be ready next week.
The remarks stirred some criticism as Australia has a universal healthcare system which means that every taxpayer gets free access to healthcare paid for by the Australian government. The GOP’s freshly passed House bill, however, seeks to cut the government support dramatically.
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