Senate expected to retain an Obamacare tax in search for votes

Senate Consumer Choice Idea Could Raise Premiums for Sick

Senate Consumer Choice Idea Could Raise Premiums for Sick

Whether the GOP health bill gets passed could affect the success of other Republican legislative priorities, particularly tax reform, according to Haines.

Conservative senators like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul said they can not support the proposal unless it repeals the 2010 Affordable Care Act., the signature legislation of Barack Obama.

In other words, the fight to stop Republicans from repealing the Affordable Care Act is far from over - and millions of Americans are still at risk of losing insurance and benefits that the current law provides.

"I think Republicans will be very unhappy across the land if the Republican leadership gives up and goes and works with the Democrats", Paul added.

Leaving the tax in place would be "discouraging", Toomey said: "But it looks as though I have lost that argument". "I don't want to see us make the same mistake". As long as the GOP rules, we will never have the better, less-expensive plan that already covers 47 percent of Americans now. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania. "It's very, very hard when you can only lose two votes, and there may already be two that are irretrievable".

Both senators have real influence, and they should use it to produce an alternative to Obamacare that actually improves health care in America. But there are ongoing negotiations to try and tweak the bill and thread that needle to get 50 of the chamber's 52 Republicans onboard.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will work with Democrats if the party can't come up with its own plan.

"The debt ceiling must be raised, " McConnell told reporters.

Republican efforts to scrap much of Democrat Barack Obama's health care law have hit a new complication. "I do think it's critical we find a resolution, and I agree with the president that Congress should not take an August recess until they figure out the repeal and replacement of Obamacare". Some Republican lawmakers are suggesting it's already dead.

Republican senators have a big agenda they want to accomplish this year beyond health care, but they're running out of time. "But one of the ways to keep people from being worse off is by giving states large block grants, if you will, that they would wrap around those who might be negatively affected to keep them from being negatively affected".

Members of the Senate Republican Conference could be briefed on the process Tuesday when they meet for a closed-door lunch.

SHAPIRO: NPR's Susan Davis, thanks a lot.

"There's only one objective", Perdue said, "and that's to get the results that people back home, who we are talking to, are asking us to get".

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