4 Republican lawmakers now at odds with plan
The Republican plan to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature health care overhaul was dealt a potentially fatal blow Monday as two more Republican senators pulled their support.
Mike Lee and Jerry Moran announced they would not support moving the current legislation, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), ahead in the chamber.
Among the issues prompting his opposition, Lee said the act does not go far enough in rolling back taxes used to fund “Obamacare”. It also does not sufficiently lower premiums for Americans, he added.
Moran directly criticized the bill, calling the BCRA “bad policy”.
“We must now start fresh with an open legislative process to develop innovative solutions that provide greater personal choice, protections for pre-existing conditions, increased access and lower overall costs for Kansans,” he said, referring to his home constituents.
President Donald Trump had advice for his fellow Republicans, tweeting they “should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!”.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to strike a difficult balance in the narrowly Republican-held chamber where his party holds 52 of 100 seats.
He has had to navigate conservative concerns like Lee’s with those of moderates who are weary of eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s protections and Medicaid expansion.
But with Lee and Moran voicing opposition to the McConnell-led bill’s advancement, four Republicans are now officially opposed to the legislation, meaning it will not proceed.
Rand Paul and Susan Collins previously announced that they would not support the bill.
All Democrats and the chamber’s Independents are expected to oppose the bill if it comes to a vote, meaning McConnell could afford to lose only two members of his caucus.
The Congressional Budget Office is expected to review the bill Tuesday at the earliest. The assessment could compound McConnell's problems.