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Published: Thu, July 13, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

BCRA 3.0: What Might Be in the Newest Senate Healthcare Bill

BCRA 3.0: What Might Be in the Newest Senate Healthcare Bill

Republicans need 51 votes to pass the legislation in the Senate, but one vote can be Vice President Mike Pence's tie-breaking vote.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he's delaying the Senate's August recess by two weeks after divided lawmakers have been unable to agree on how to revise health-care legislation he proposed to replace Obamacare.

The delay of the August recess came after a handful of rank-and file Republicans urged leadership to stay in Washington to finish their business rather than return home for the district work period.

But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says cancelling the recess is about Republicans trying to pass what they say is an unpopular health care bill.

"That's one way to get me to "yes" on the bill", he said. John Kennedy, a freshman Republican from Louisiana. Trump pressed Congress on Monday, July 10, 2017, to get health care done before leaving for its lon.

"I think we have narrowed it down to where we know where the decision points are", he said.

McConnell has said he plans to hold a vote on the legislation, which needs the support of at least 50 of the Senate's 52 Republicans, before a six-week recess that begins on July 29.

Congressional Republicans have been publicly critical of their party's health care bill, with enough members opposed or undecided to nearly prevent the bill's passage.

Republican leaders want to stage a climactic vote on their health care bill next week.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is refusing to compromise with Democrats on healthcare, saying that it would betray conservative voters. But moderate Republicans and outside critics say it will erode protections for people with pre-existing conditions and make their insurance unaffordable.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has proposed an amendment meant to lower premiums, partly by letting insurers offer plans that don't cover essential health benefits like prescription drugs, as long as insurers offer one plan that does.

Once the chamber "completes its work on health care reform", McConnell said, senators will focus on "the backlog of critical nominations that have been mindlessly stalled by Democrats", in addition to working on the National Defense Authorization Act.

But with multiple defections on the Republican side, McConnell has also indicated a willingness to work with Democrats if his efforts fall short.

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