Instead, slashing Medicaid spending creates fiscal headroom for what is euphemistically being called "tax reform" - a soon-to-come package of huge tax cuts favoring the wealthy.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen.
Moody's Investors Service says Senate Republicans' proposed healthcare bill, dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, would negatively affect hospital finances by causing the uninsured rate to rise. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he's willing to alter the measure to attract support, and next week promises plenty of back-room bargaining as he tries pushing a final package through his chamber.
The bill would cut and redesign the Medicaid program for low-income and disabled people, and erase taxes on higher earners and the medical industry that helped pay for the roughly 20 million Americans covered by Obama's law.
In a visit to his home state Capitol Friday, Pennsylvania's senior US Senator Bob Casey called the bill "obscene".
Supporters of the Republican plan say the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate forced people to do something they often didn't want to do.
The South Boston Democrat, who was one of the few members of his party to vote against the Affordable Care Act in 2010, stressed that the legislation needs to be fixed and that not enough has been done to rein in the overall cost of health care.
As Senate Republicans aim to force a vote on their version of Trumpcare - a bill that was written in secret, without public hearings, despite the fact that it will reshape one-sixth of the USA economy and impact the lives of millions of Americans - most people have been left in the dark.
"No argument against Trumpcare is more eloquent than the grave consequences it means in people's lives", she wrote colleagues. The House version would drastically reduce coverage, according to the CBO, with 23 million Americans losing their health insurance by 2026.
Heller is the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition.
"The fact we think this bill will spend more next year than Obamacare spends now, that doesn't sound like repeal", said Paul, who added that he will be negotiating as a team with fellow conservative holdouts Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Mike Lee of Utah.
"It's going to be a good bill", Trump said in a separate Fox News interview to air on Sunday. He is one of four GOP senators to say they are opposed it but are open to negotiations, which could put the measure in immediate jeopardy. "We'll have to see".
ABC News also reported that as the GOP bill was being released Thursday morning there was a "large protest gathered outside McConnell's office, with people in wheelchairs staging a 'die-in, ' and protesters chanting that no changes be made to Medicaid".
Sen. Susan Collins of ME reiterated her opposition to language blocking federal money for Planned Parenthood, which many Republicans oppose because it provides abortions.
Another thing the Senate credits do is that they go down to more poor people, but the credits themselves will be smaller.
The new bill is meant to walk a delicate line in its relatively modest tweaks to the measure that passed the House last month.
Heller said he wants to protect Medicaid expansion states, which would be a "heavy lift" when it comes to states that chose to opt out.