On the eve of the deadline for Republicans to pass their Obamacare repeal bill, the House is poised to send it to the Senate, a step that could potentially doom the health law.
The Senate is expected to vote on the GOP-led bill on Thursday.
The House could take it up as early as next week.
But it’s not a done deal, with a key GOP lawmaker telling ABC News he’s not “comfortable” with that.
“I am not comfortable with the Senate voting to go to conference on a bill that has been so unpopular in my district,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said.
“I have a very hard time with a bill which has such low approval ratings and which has a very small chance of passing the Senate.”
“I have no confidence in the Senate,” he added.
The House bill would gut the ACA, defund Planned Parenthood and cut Medicaid by nearly half.
It would also eliminate the requirement that insurers cover all basic health benefits.
While Cruz is skeptical of the Senate bill, he believes it could pass.
“They have an option,” he said of the GOP bill.
“If they take the option, I believe they’ll pass it.
But I’m not sure how that will work.
But the reality is that many Republican senators are concerned that the bill could be too harsh on people with pre-existing conditions, according to GOP lawmakers.
Some of those lawmakers, like Sen. Susan Collins Susan Margaret CollinsGOP senators reject Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. Trump says he will meet with Collins later this week to discuss healthcare legislation Republican senators reject White House bid to bar immigrants with preexisting conditions from entering U.N. MORE (R, Maine), say the bill should be more generous and do less to cut off insurance to those with pre, established medical conditions.
But other Republicans, including Sens.
Lamar Alexander Andrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderDems push back on using federal funds to pay for birth control GOP senators introduce bill to end using federal money for birthcontrol The Hill’s Morning Report — Senate Judiciary panel to vote Thursday on Kavanaugh Kavanaugh blasts Dems for ‘partisan’ attack on Kavanaugh MORE (Tenn.), Lamar AlexanderRaul GrijalvaMixed emotions over Trump tweet: What to know about new Trump health care proposal Senate Republicans introduce bill with amendments to overturn Trump executive orders MORE (Ariz.) and Bill Cassidy William (Bill) Morgan CassidyRepublicans push back against ‘gutting’ the ACA after it passed Senate Republicans vote to move ahead with repeal of Obamacare Senate GOP holds emergency vote on repeal of Trump administration rule MORE (La.), are opposed to the GOP plan.
Cassidy says the bill is not strong enough to cover people with preexisting conditions.
“It’s not going to be strong enough.
We don’t know,” he told reporters on Thursday night.
It’s very difficult.
We’ve got to see how that works out.”
In addition to Republicans’ disagreement over the bill, there is concern among Democrats that the GOP’s proposed $700 billion cut to Medicaid will hit vulnerable residents most.
Democrats have already raised concerns about the bill’s Medicaid cuts, particularly on Medicaid expansion, which they believe would result in more people being cut off.
Democrats say the Senate version of the bill that passed the House last week is much less generous.
“If you add to that $700b, you’re going to add to the poverty level, you know,” Sen-elect Alison Lundergan Grimes (Ky.) told ABC News.
“The cuts we’re seeing on Medicaid are even worse.”
Democrats have also expressed concern that the Senate proposal would eliminate Medicaid’s Medicaid expansion option, which was first put in place by former President Barack Obama Barack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy — Sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board — Perry predicts oil market ‘stability’ as sanctions over North Korea ease | Perry criticizes EPA over methane rules | EPA to move rule on methane emissions to final formOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to extend Medicaid funds to opioid treatment groups | Senators unveil new drug pricing proposal | FDA delays review of opioid prescribing rules | GOP looks to change drug pricing rules MORE.
The bill would make the expansion program a block grant to states and leave it up to states to decide how to spend the money.
The proposal also eliminates the ACA’s Medicaid tax credit, which would have allowed states to help low-income residents afford coverage, even as the GOP proposal would increase Medicaid costs for people with incomes above 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
“The Medicaid expansion is in jeopardy,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Charles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDems slam GOP senators over Kavanaugh comments: ‘Why don’t you vote?’
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