Mitch McConnell Employs Backroom Deals to Pass the Senate Healthcare Bill


Senate Republican leaders on Thursday released a modified version of their health care bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, but the changes may not be enough to win over both conservatives and moderates who were opposed to the original plan. At this moment, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) oppose the new BCRA, so the Majority Leader can not lose any more votes to pass the bill when it comes to the Senate floor next week. GOP Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Kentucky's Rand Paul have said they'll vote "no," leaving McConnell no wiggle room.

Details of the highly anticipated Senate health care bill revision released Thursday shows the bill keeps in place deep cuts to Medicaid and the elimination of the current mandate requiring people to purchase insurance.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke by phone with Utah Sen. That complicated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's task of preventing even a single additional GOP senator from rejecting the legislation, which would kill it. He spent three weeks reworking the measure. In fact, in this month's poll more Republicans said health care is headed in the right direction than believed that in April, before the House passed its version of the health care replacement bill.

President Donald Trump watches the Bastille Day parade in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, July 14, 2017. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, insurance companies would also be allowed to sell low-priced plans that do not meet "Obamacare" standards.

McConnell released a plan that attempts to attract conservative support by letting insurers sell low-priced, bare-bone policies and bids for moderate Republicans with an added $45 billion for states to combat opioid abuse.

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But McConnell is still moving full steam ahead on the revised bill, saying he expects the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to provide its budgetary analysis, known as its "score", early next week. With "something that's really good and that people are going to like" - and by being "very angry" if the Senate, which is expected to take up the issue again next week, fails to present a really good, eminently likable something to him. On Thursday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), vented his frustration at these governors' opposition to these cuts to the social safety net. The result, predictably, has been skyrocketing premium prices and worse health care in the individual market.

The revised bill came under attack from medical organizations and consumer advocates, while conservatives balked at taxes and increased entitlement spending that would remain in the legislation.

That brought New Jersey Sen.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he will be "very angry" if Republicans - now struggling to cobble together sufficient support - fail to pass health care reform legislation.

Senate Republicans, however, seem aware what a catastrophe the Cruz amendment would be for essential benefits.