Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine has announced that she has “extreme reservations” about the Senate’s health care bill and does not think it will pass this week, according to a Reuters report. Five other Republican senators have also refused to support the bill, which is designed to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in its current form.
Collins, a moderate Republican, said that she was concerned the bill would cut Medicaid too deeply. She also wants to see an upcoming analysis by the Congressional Budget Office before making a decision.
Another GOP senator, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, has called for a slowdown in the deliberation process to give the Senate and the public time to evaluate the bill.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has been pushing for a vote before the July 4th Independence Day holiday recess that begins at the end of this week. He can afford to lose the support of only two Republicans in the face of unanimous Democratic opposition.
Republicans view the PPACA as a costly government intrusion and say that the individual insurance markets created by the act are collapsing.
The House narrowly passed a measure similar to the Senate’s plan. The Senate bill would phase out the PPACA’s expansion of the Medicaid program more gradually than would the House bill, waiting until after the 2020 presidential election, but would enact deeper cuts starting in 2025.
Source: Reuters; June 25, 2017.