Republicans taking big political risk on health care

Chuck Myers  MCT  Newscom

A path is emerging for Senate Republicans to pass their ObamaCare repeal bill, even though there are major obstacles ahead. While the Senate bill is shaping up to take a more moderate stance on Medicaid expansion, it will reportedly grow the per person funding cap at the same rate as the AHCA. While not terribly surprising, this move is a clear signal to HIV advocates that we can not assume that any Republican will fully protect Medicaid expansion.

Fear is evidently centered on whether to keep some of Obamacare's "regulatory structure" and a "more generous wind-down" of Medicaid's expansion, with Paul's and Lee's potential "no" votes putting more pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to make sure Sens.

"Mitch is listening to everybody's concerns and there's a back and forth". "It's moving in the right direction".

And while Republicans are using a process that allows them to pass the legislation with just 51 votes, the window closes at the end of September. "It's hard for me to handicap", he said.

By invoking a provision of Senate Rule XIV, McConnell was able to put the bill directly on the Senate calendar, rather than sending it to committee where it could be held up by hearings. Instead, the bill will go straight to the floor for a vote.

Despite moderate Republicans like Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) wrote on Twitter on Friday: "They didn't want the Senate to have to change it too much".

If Republicans are forced to strip the so-called Hyde Amendment language from the legislation, which essentially bars federal funds from being used to pay for abortions except to save the life of a mother or in cases of rape and incest, it may doom the bill. That is a departure from the healthcare bill passed by the House.

Still, some of the members seen as most likely to vote against the bill were on the moderate side of the spectrum, and the change in their rhetoric is noticeable. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., said he wouldn't.

"It's very cognizant of pre-existing conditions, which is a good thing", Cassidy said on Tuesday. In response to the overwhelming public opposition to the bill and the surging support for the ACA, Sen. Some analysts were not surprised that Capito and others now seem to be coming around, as GOP centrists are facing fierce pressure from party leaders to support repealing the ACA, a key Republican promise for the last seven years. "But I think a lot of those structural elements of the safety net, the bridge to new coverage, the state flexibility on regulations and the Medicaid reform, I think we're going to see all of that in there", Turner said.

Still, there are plenty of unexpected disruptions that could occur. Naturally, this has not sat well with health care advocates and Senate Democrats like Sen.

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