Four GOP Senators, including Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have come out in opposition to the Republican Senate healthcare bill in its current form because it doesn’t go far enough to repeal Obamacare.
“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor,” the Senators’ joint statement said. “There are provisions of this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal and replace Obamacare and lower their health care costs.”
“The current bill does not repeal Obamacare. It does not keep our promises to the American people,” Paul said in a separate statement. “I will oppose it coming to the floor in its current form, but I remain open to negotiations.”
Paul was a vocal critic of the House version of the Obamacare repeal bill, calling it “Obamacare Lite” due to its preservation of subsidies, tax credits, and expansions to Medicaid.
“We never ran on making entitlement subsidies permanent,” Paul said in March. “They’re going to repeal part of it and leave in place all of the stuff that causes your insurance rates to go through the roof.”
Senate GOP leadership led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) drafted the bill behind closed doors over the past few weeks, drawing criticism from both Republican House members and Democrats alike.
The announcement puts the future of the health care bill in jeopardy because it would take only three GOP Senators to vote against it for the bill to fail on the Senate floor.
Several other GOP Senators have expressed their concern for the bill after it was unveiled Thursday.
“At first glance, I have serious concerns about the bill’s impact on Nevadans who depend on Medicaid,” Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said in a statement. “As I have consistently stated, if the bill is good for Nevada, I’ll vote for it and if it’s not – I won’t.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) also said she has “a number of concerns” about “the impact on insurance coverage, the effect on insurance premiums, and changes to the Medicaid program.”
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