Republican Senate leaders say they’re hopeful that they can pass a health care bill before they leave for August recess, but the numbers aren’t there yet. The Wall Street Journal reports that 10 GOP senators who do not support the legislation before them currently.

For instance, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says that while she appreciates the $45 billion earmarked to fight the opioid epidemic (felt everywhere, but especially in New England), she said: “That’s helpful, but it’s by no means sufficient.”

GOP Senate leaders had hoped to pass a bill before last week’s July 4 weekend but the votes just weren’t there. The opponents do not seem to have been swayed, and the bill would need the support of at least 50 of the 52 GOP senators (Vice President Pence would break the tie) since all the Democratic senators said that they plan to vote against.

“Concerned about their diminishing chances of passing a health-care bill that is widely unpopular in national polls, Senate Republicans have begun to chastise each other about the consequences of a high-profile legislative failure,” the WSJ reports.

An issue that’s been the subject of discussion in recent days concerns a proposal by Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas that allows health insurers to sell benefit packages that comply with the ACA will also allowing those same companies to sell benefit packages that don’t meet ACA regulations in the same market.

“Health analysts say that would likely lower premiums for younger, healthier people, who would buy more limited policies, while causing premiums to rise for people with pre-existing conditions, who would buy the more comprehensive plans that comply with the ACA,” the WSJ reports.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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