Unpopular bill further imperilled after senators returned to their states and faced constituents strongly opposed to it
A senior US Republican senator has predicted that the bill to roll back Obamacare would probably fail, adding to growing signsthat the bill is in trouble.
My view is that its likely going to be dead, John McCain said on the CBS program Face the Nation.
The Senate bill, which faces unified Democratic opponent, has been further imperilled during a week-long recess where several Republican senators have had to return to their states and face constituents strongly opposed to it. Senators return to Washington on Monday.
The Senate bill keeps much of Obamacare intact but strips away most of its fund. It repeals most Obamacare taxes, overhauls the laws taxation credits and ends its Medicaid expansion. It also goes beyond repealing Obamacare by cutting funding for the Medicaid program beginning in 2025.
The White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said on Sunday on Fox News that President Donald Trump expected Congress to pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The Republican senator Ted Cruz on Sunday told failure to pass the bill was not an option and the Senate effort had to focus on lower premiums. He pointed to an amendment he offered that is being scored by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which assesses potential impacts of legislation.
Cruzs amendment would allow insurers to offer plans that do not comply with Obamacares mandate that they charge sick and healthy people the same rates and that they cover a situate of essential health benefits, such as maternity care and prescription drugs, as long as they also offer schemes that do comply with the regulations.
The amendment has described the purposes of conservative senators and groups, who say the it will help lower premiums. But moderate Republicans and outside critics say it will erode protections for people with pre-existing conditions and making such a insurance unaffordable.
The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, aims to hold a vote on the legislation, which are necessary the support of at least 50 of the Senates 52 Republican, before a six-week recess that begins on 29 July.
Yet even McConnell cast doubt on the bills prospects for passage last week.
Speaking at a luncheon in his home country of Kentucky, McConnell said if Congress failed to follow through on a seven-year pledge to repeal Obamacare then it must act to shore up private health insurance markets, remarks seen as providing a pathway to a bipartisan deal to fix the health system.
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