Senate steers toward showdown vote next week on health bill

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Illinois Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is criticizing Republican Senate leaders for crafting their health care bill behind closed doors.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he's hopeful that the full Senate will vote on a new health care bill before its July 4 recess.

The White House has been letting McConnell drive the process in the Senate, although Trump, just weeks after celebrating the House passage of its Obamacare repeal bill in an impromptu Rose Garden ceremony, recently lamented that that very bill was "mean", and that Senate Republicans should put forward a more "generous" proposal.

Adding to Republicans' urgency on health care is the fact that most health insurers face a Wednesday deadline to submit their rates for Obamacare plans next year.

Asked whether he has seen the bill, Arizona Republican John McCain said on Tuesday: "No, nor have I met any American that has".

"I wouldn't want to compare it to the House bill", the Kentucky Republican said.

There is no finalized bill yet and no guarantee that Republicans will have the 50 votes needed to pass the legislation - in a 50-50 split, Vice President Mike Pence providing the tie-breaking vote. "And we'll go to the bill obviously once we get a CBO score". "It's apparently being written by a small handful of staffers for members of the Republican leadership in the Senate".

Without an attentive media alerting the American public of what the GOP is up to, they may actually achieve their goal of forcing a healthcare bill into law without ever letting the people it will affect ever see the bill.

Mr Schumer pointed out on Tuesday that the majority leader has not yet clarified whether the Democrats' 10 hours for debate would be on the House's healthcare bill or on the Senate's version.

The Utah Senator explained that he too remains frustrated by the Senate leadership's lack of transparency, and that only the Senate leadership remains active in drafting the bill. Paul did not sound on Tuesday like he was prepared to vote for the bill.

The problem is that Senate leaders have been clear with the conference that they prefer not to repeal the community rating provision.

Under the AHCA, insurers would be able to increase premiums for consumers with pre-existing conditions and for older adults.Consumers would be able to deduct the cost of their health insurance premiums from their taxes.

Andrew Gillum blasted Senate Republicans Tuesday for "hiding" behind its Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill, an "immoral disaster" which is being written largely behind closed doors and without Democrat input. And now they've gotten kind of weak-kneed and I think they want to keep it.

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