U.S. Senator Susan Collins is swarmed by reporters as she leaves a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. July 13, 2017. Senate Republicans of the U.S. Congress on Thursday unveiled a new healthcare bill that they hoped can fulfill their long-time goal to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act. (Xinhua/Ting Shen)
WASHINGTON, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Senate Republicans of the U.S. Congress on Thursday unveiled a new healthcare bill that they hope can fulfill their long-time goal to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The bill is a 2.0 version of Senate Republicans' effort to draft up a substitute for the ACA, also known as Obamacare, after their initial bid in June failed to garner enough support among Republican senators.
With the revised bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hopes to find a middle ground where at least 50 Republican Senators can unite, and push the piece of legislation through the Senate in the one month left before Congress' August recess.
The hope was imperiled, however, when two Republican senators voiced skepticism soon after McConnell rolled out the bill.
Susan Collins, senator from Maine, tweeted: "Still deep cuts to Medicaid in Senate bill. Will vote no on MTP," using the abbreviation for "motion to proceed".
Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy did not reject the bill but instead came up with their own version of a healthcare bill.
Senate Republicans are under mounting pressure from both voters and the White House to produce a piece of legislation that is sufficient to replace Obamacare, a major election promise for many senators and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump recently tweeted that he "cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new healthcare bill fully approved and ready to go!"
To allow more time for a new healthcare bill, McConnell postponed recess to the third week of August, two weeks later than originally planned.
The House passed its version of a healthcare bill in early May, after which the bill entered the Senate for discussion.
Senate Republicans unveiled its first revised draft in June but were forced to rework the bill after failing to secure enough support among Republicans.