Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his Republican colleagues that he will delay a vote on the Senate’s health care bill until after Congress’ July Fourth recess. McConnell did not have enough votes to move the bill to the floor for debate. At least five Republican senators had announced that they would oppose the measure, and several more signaled their opposition after news of the delay was reported.
President Trump met with Senate Republicans yesterday afternoon to rally support for the bill. According to The New York Times, at least one Republican senator at the meeting felt that Trump did not fully understand the contents of the bill he was promoting.
For weeks, McConnell has been leading the secret effort to draft a bill that could unify his caucus. The text of the bill was released last week. McConnell sought to bring the bill directly to the floor for a vote this week, bypassing the traditional committee process and eschewing any public hearings on the legislation.
On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the bill, predicting the legislation would lead to 22 million more uninsured people by 2026. The analysis predicted that those in their 50s and early 60s would be the most severely impacted, facing substantial premium increases that could cause them to lose coverage.
McConnell faces pressure on both sides as he tries to muster support for the legislation. Conservative senators like Mike Lee and Rand Paul have argued for a more aggressive rollback of the Affordable Care Act, while others, such as Dean Heller of Nevada, have argued that the legislation cuts too deeply and would cause millions to lose coverage. McConnell is seeking to find a compromise by Friday so that the Congressional Budget Office can restore the bill in time for a vote in July.
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