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Republicans Need 50 Senators to Back Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill

26 September 2017

Sen. Susan Collins of ME said repeatedly that she would not announce her voting intentions on the Graham-Cassidy health care measure until she had heard from the Congressional Budget Office.

Some Republicans have already said they will not vote for the bill as it stands, including Kentucky's Junior Senator Rand Paul.

Republicans now hold 52 out of 100 Senate seats, and could get Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie.

The bill's authors republican senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy told the senate finance committee this is their *best shot to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Capitol Hill police removed the protesters, many in wheelchairs, from the hearing room.

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On Monday, President Trump expressed frustration that Republicans had talked for years about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act but had failed to deliver now that a Republican was in the White House.

A preliminary analysis from the "Congressional Budget Office" finds the Graham-Cassidy bill would reduce the number of insured Americans by millions.

The revised bill also includes new language addressing concerns about how Americans with pre-existing conditions would fare. The Maine senator also opposed the previous iterations of the Republican healthcare bills, helping to end that push in July.

The bill would repeal much of the ACA and give states the power to ease requirements on the law's mandates, including prohibiting insurers from charging higher premiums for the seriously ill.

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Supporters have touted the bill as a flexible alternative to past repeal proposals, but an analysis last week from the Kaiser Family Foundation said that from 2020 to 2026 it would amount to a $160 billion cut in federal health care funding. Sponsors made changes over the weekend to try to win votes from fence-sitting moderates and conservatives, including Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Collins. With support from no Democrats in the 100-member chamber, they could not lose the support of more than three members, and Collins' announcement signalled that the votes aren't there. Senate GOP leaders can only lose two votes and still pass the legislation.

Collins' announcement makes it nearly impossible for Senators to reach that threshold, unless they can convince either Sen.

Paul objected to a key provision of the bill, under which Obamacare funding would be granted to states in blocs for them to decide how to spend, rather than be managed by the federal government.

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Republicans Need 50 Senators to Back Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill