Divisions remain among Senate Republicans over healthcare bill: report

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-10 02:37:26|Editor: MJ
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WASHINGTON, July 9 (Xinhua) -- While Senate Republican leaders have vowed to repeal and replace the Obama administration's highly controversial healthcare revamp, known as Obamacare, divisions remain between moderate and conservative senators over the provisions of the healthcare bill.

Conservatives are insisting on a provision that would let insurers sell cheaper, less-comprehensive plans, but centrists have signaled they would oppose such a measure, fearing it would erode protections for people with pre-existing health conditions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

"Negotiations over changes to the bill to bring more Republicans on board have reached an apparent standoff," the report said, adding the intraparty divide presents a tough obstacle for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass the bill.

John McCain, Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, also said on Sunday he didn't have confidence that the Republican healthcare bill would pass the upper chamber.

"My view is that it's probably going to dead," McCain said on the CBC's program "Face the Nation". "I fear that it's going to fail."

In a letter to Senate leaders last month, a group of over 40 U.S. economists, including six Nobel Prize winners, had expressed strong opposition to the Senate healthcare bill.

"The Senate bill would narrow coverage, and by driving relatively healthy people from the market, raise premiums for those who remain," the economists said, warning the bill would reduce assistance for the millions of people who buy coverage through the state and federal marketplaces.

Republicans initially aimed to get healthcare legislation to President Donald Trump's desk by early April, but was forced to postpone it because of deep divisions among Senate Republicans, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As the entire Democratic Party is expected to stand against the bill, the Republicans can only lose support of two lawmakers in the Senate to pass the bill.

"Now a vote, if one occurs, would likely come in mid-to-late July, with Congress's August recess serving as the next deadline. If that fails, the legislative calendar would only get more difficult," the report said.