Senate Republicans seek vote this month on health-care bill

McConnell and aides will present an early blueprint of the Senate version of the bill on Tuesday at a GOP lunch, but some of its specifics have yet to be resolved.
By James Carlin | Jun 07, 2017
Senate GOP leaders are calling on their ranks to make decisions on the House-approved health-care bill and to prepare for a Senate vote by the end of the month. Sources said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is expediting work on crafting the Senate version as Republican leaders want to reach resolution in time for the Fourth of July recess.

The bill's prospects are uncertain. In the House, where the Republican majority is much larger, the bill only passed by a four-vote margin, 217-213. And several Republican senators have disputed key parts of the bill, such as its cutbacks on Medicaid, leaving Republicans with little to no room for defections.

"I don't think this gets better over time. So my personal view is we've got until now and the Fourth of July to decide if the votes are there or not. And I hope they are," said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of the leadership.

McConnell and aides will present an early blueprint of the Senate version of the bill on Tuesday at a GOP lunch, but some of its specifics have yet to be resolved. Senate staff left several key decisions blank while writing a draft bill over the course of last week and the weekend.

The Senate version is likely to offer more-generous tax subsidies than the House version, but debate persists among Senate Republican over how much the bill should cut Medicaid and when it should roll back Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

The bill will also be subject to Congressional Budget Office review, unlike the House version. This review process could take an additional several weeks.

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