Saturday, 23 September, 2017

US Senate delays vote on health bill as McCain recovers

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell of Ky. leaves the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday Medicaid affects millions of Americans, young and old
Jerome Frank | 17 July, 2017, 20:48

Responding to the issue, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement late Saturday that the Senate will defer consideration of the health care bill.

GOP leaders had planned to vote as early as Tuesday, but with McCain absent, Senate Republicans would fall short of the 50 votes needed to move ahead with the bill.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, was resting comfortably at home in good condition after Friday's operation, his office said.

That news came soon after McCain's office released word that the Arizona Republican would likely be staying in Arizona, instead of returning to Washington on Monday because of the discovery of the blood clot.

With 52 Republicans sitting in the house, McConnell can't afford to lose more than two GOP votes in order for the bill to pass.

"There are about eight to 10 Republican senators who have serious concerns about this bill", Collins told CNN's "State of the Union" program, faulting the bill for its major cuts to the Medicaid government health insurance program for the poor, which she said would harm rural hospitals and nursing homes. But, he said, this bill would give those people other low-cost options and stabilize the marketplace. The Republicans now have a 52-48 seat majority in the Senate, and with two Republican senators, Sens.

It wasn't clear how long McCain's recovery process would take, but the senator's office seemed to suggest that McCain would miss at least a week in the Senate.

McConnell attributed the delay to Arizona Sen. McConnell is under increasing pressure to ditch the amendments offered by Senator Ted Cruz that throw out numerous "mandated" coverages that insurance companies are forced to offer with every Obamacare policy.

But leading officials with the Trump administration have spent the past several days trying to persuade Republican governors, including those in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, to support the Senate bill.

The release detailed information regarding McCain's status and how the surgery went.

"Mandates on insurance cause prices to rise and young, healthy people then say 'Ill wait until I get sick [to buy insurance].' And then the insurance pool gets sicker and sicker - it's called adverse selection, we also call it the 'death spiral, '" Paul said. "We need Senator McCain in more ways than one. On the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will be recovering in Arizona next week".

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