Dean Heller becomes fifth Senate Republican to oppose GOP health care bill
Dean Heller becomes fifth Senate Republican to oppose GOP health care bill
25 June, 2017, 16:26
Nevada senator Dean Heller has become the fifth Republican to come out in opposition to the current draft version of the Senate healthcare bill. "Well, they're also four good guys, four friends of mine, and I think that they'll probably get there", he said.
"We have to send the message to our elected officials and we depend on our elected officials to champion our cause in Washington", said Pamela Clarke, the health center's CEO. Heller said he thought the bill would harm the elderly, the disabled and people battling substance abuse, adding that he is "not confident" it will lower costs for consumers. Its fate remained uncertain after the four lawmakers refused to back the current Senate plan, leaving Republicans short of the votes needed for passage.
Hours after the measure was unveiled to Congress, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah said in a joint statement that they were not ready to vote in favour of the legislation.
Pennsylvania Senators Pat Toomey (R) and Bob Casey (D) will help determine the draft bill's fate in the GOP-ruled Senate. Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, McConnell can afford to lose just two of the 52 GOP senators and still prevail. Republicans have called Obamacare - officially known as the Affordable Care Act - "unsustainable", citing skyrocketing premiums and the unstable health insurance marketplaces created by the law.
"I can not support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans", Heller said in a news conference held in his home state.
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The bill would make significant changes to the Affordable Care Act, which Obama signed into law over seven years ago.
The Senate measure maintains much of the structure of a House bill passed in May but differs in several key ways.
America is better than that; we can take care of vulnerable Americans and still have a growing economy for the middle class and keep our country safe.
The four Republican holdouts, among the Senate's most conservative members, said the plan did not go far enough in scaling back the federal government's role, highlighting Republicans' struggle to craft legislation to revamp a sector that accounts for one-sixth of the world's largest economy. It would also slap annual spending caps on the overall Medicaid program, which since its inception in 1965 has provided states with unlimited money to cover eligible costs.
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Sandoval said he would do "everything in my power" to make sure those people can maintain the quality of life they now have. Voting yes on the Senate health care bill would be a vote directly against me, my family and all Pennsylvanians.
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