McConnell is trying to revise the Senate health-care bill by Friday – Washington Post
The effort reflects the tight timeline McConnell faces in his attempt to hold a vote in July — and the pressure he is under to change the bill to garner enough support to pass it. With both conservatives and centrists pushing different policy solutions, Senate leaders were struggling to craft a rewrite of the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday that would attract votes without torpedoing the CBO’s official score of how the legislation affects coverage levels and federal spending.
In between closed-door lunches and meetings with McConnell and his team on Wednesday, a number of Republicans flashed visible signs of frustration even as they expressed cautious optimism that a vote was possible. Conservatives asked for the lifting of coverage mandates to lower premiums and requested higher limits on tax exemptions for health-savings accounts. Moderates asked for more generous tax credits for the working classes and a gentler phaseout of the expansion of Medicaid that their states have enjoyed under the Affordable Care Act.
Some members questioned McConnell’s handling of the issue — an unusual public rebuke of a leader who managed to preserve his party’s control of the upper chamber despite a stiff challenge from Democrats in last year’s elections.
“This has been way more difficult than it needs to be,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who was among five senators whose opposition to the bill prompted McConnell to postpone a vote this week.
With Vice President Pence prepared to cast the tiebreaking vote, and all Democrats opposed to repealing the 2010 law known as Obamacare, Republicans need the support of all but two of their 52 senators.