Eight to 10 Republicans have concerns on health-care bill: Sen. Collins


“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.

“I don’t know whether it will pass, but I do know this, we should not be making fundamental changes in a vital safety net program that’s been on the books for 50 years — the Medicaid program — without having a single hearing to evaluate what the consequences are going to be,” she added.

Republican Senator Rand Paul also reiterated his opposition to the bill, which he described as “terrible” because it retained many of the Obamacare taxes and subsidies.

“The current system is terrible,” Paul said on Fox News Sunday. “I don’t think Republicans should put their name on this. It is a bad political strategy and it will not fix the problem.”

The bill unwinds Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion over three years, from 2021 to 2024. But it goes beyond repealing Obamacare by imposing drastic cuts to Medicaid that deepen in 2025.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill would cut Medicaid by nearly $800 billion by 2026, and would cut Medicaid 35 percent come 2036.

McCain, who plans to stay in Arizona this week after a procedure to remove a 2-inch (5-cm) blood clot from above his left eye, has expressed concern about the health-care bill but has not said how he would vote.

“We need Senator McCain in more ways than one. As soon as we have a full contingent of senators we will have that vote,” Cornyn, of Texas, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.



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