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Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Top lawmaker says health bill includes tax hikes

Top lawmaker says health bill includes tax hikes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., already has two Republican senators who probably won't vote for his health care bill.

With opposition growing, and McConnell postponing the Senate's August recess by two weeks to allow more time to bring skeptical lawmakers on board and salvage Donald Trump's top legislative priority, the president used his bully pulpit to urge fellow Republicans to rally round the effort.

In addition to health care, the Senate needs to pass a budget, raise the debt limit and come up with a spending plan before the fiscal year ends September 30. "They have to do it. They have to get together and get it done". McConnell could still muster the support needed to approve the bill with tweaks to appease members. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said on the Fox News Channel of the chances a bill will pass. The test is whether leadership can convince majority to get on board.

On Wednesday, though, Trump said he was "waiting" for a bill to "come to my desk". "At this point, I can not support the bill".

Polls show the previous version to be widely unpopular.

"Every time you move, you kind of move the dial one direction, you maybe add some new members, but maybe you lose a couple over here".

McConnell wants to have a vote next week on a motion to proceed on this bill - a procedural step to start debate on the legislation.

It is by no means clear that the new CBO score will show significantly fewer people becoming uninsured under the new version of the bill than under the original draft of it.

They also hoped to be further along on tax reform at this point in the year but a handful of Republican leaders are still working out the main points of any plan. We don't have any evidence there will be changes to the Medicaid portion of the health care bill, which could be problematic if leadership wants their votes.

They also want to reduce the ways people can jump into the market when they're sick and out when they're healthy.

It remains challenging. More work remains to be done.

Sen. Ted Cruz has proposed allowing health insurance companies that are now required to cover certain services in their plans to be allowed to offer much more basic options that would be less costly for healthier people who need less care.

In addition to appealing to states' rights Republicans, conservatives should embrace that Graham and Cassidy are proposing to eliminate the mandate that individuals buy health insurance and that businesses provide coverage to their employees or face financial penalties.

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