Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Sunday called for a delay in the Senate vote on health care and instead seek a bipartisan effort to craft a workable replacement for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the Republican Senate rewrite of the House’s American Health Care Act that was created behind closed doors without any input from the health care industry or Democrats. The measure would repeal taxes imposed under Obamacare, cut Medicaid by $800 million (despite promises by President Donald Trump during the campaign not to cut Medicaid or Medicare), eliminate the requirement that people buy insurance, drop reqirements for essential benefits and result in people with pre-existing conditions paying high premiums or lose coverage.

At least five Republican senators have said they cannot support the bill, which would mean failure in the Senate. McConnell has said he hopes to bring the measure up for a vote this week.

Read: Republicans Defend Obamacare Replacement, Say Medicaid, Sick Won't Be Hurt

 “My background really is manufacturing. I'm also an accountant,” Johnson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “So I understand without a good process, you're not going to end up with a good product. And a process in terms of problem solving starts with information. …

“We should have started the process, reaching out to the Democrats, pointing out the fact that Obamacare didn't work, it did drive premiums up more than double nationally, some places three times has been the increase in premiums. Let's acknowledge that, let's repair the damage done by Obamacare and transition to something that works.”

Read: President 'Guarantees' Pre-Existing Conditions Will Be Covered

Manchin on CBS’ “Face the Nation” called for a bipartisan working group to “fix it,” saying the House bill was bad and the Senate version is worse.

“Call off this bill right now and let’s sit down and start working,” Manchin said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he thinks the bill has a 50-50 chance of passing. Schumer said the bill would be devastating for the middle class.

“It chills the middle class and gives money to the wealthy. And let’s not forget one thing: … The hard, hard right, these thousand very wealthy people, have such dominance in the Republican Party, they’ve had two goals for decades. One, reduce taxes on the rich. Of people who make over $1 million get an average of a $57,000 tax cut. Two, destroy the social safety net for the middle class of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This is the first step where they’re doing that in the Senate bill,” Schumer said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“So that’s why they -- there’s such pressure on these Republicans. This narrow group of wealthy people with power. But the American people are crying out, saying no.”

Administration spokesmen insisted the bill does not cut Medicaid, simply reduce its growth.


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On “This Week,” senior presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway said the bill gives governors more flexibility in spending Medicaid dollars and said Obamacare had expanded Medicaid far beyond what it was meant to cover.

“We are trying to get Medicaid back to its original moorings,” she said.

Trump Saturday on “Fox and Friends” lamented the complicated nature of health care reform.

“It’s a very complicated situation from the standpoint, you do something that’s good for one group and bad for another,” he said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price stuck to administration talking points in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” insisting the Senate plan will lead to lower insurance premiums and better coverage.

Asked to respond to a question posed by billionaire Warren Buffet who wants to know how much money people making more than $250,000 would save under the Senate bill, Price, a medical doctor, sidestepped, going back to the talking point that the GOP bill would work better for patients than the government or insurance companies and insisting states would have the resources they need to help their residents.

Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio said, however, the Senate bill does not provide states the resources they need to deal with such issues as mental health or opioid addiction, and said it will inject more instability and uncertainty into the marketplace. He also said the bill fails to get to the heart of the matter: the cost of health care.

“This bill doesn’t do that,” he said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said on “Meet the Press” he stands by his tweet that the Republican legislation would lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans because they would be unable to get treatment for serious conditions and the only way to provide adequate health care for Americans is to adopt Medicare for all and pledged to work toward a single-payer system.

A survey conducted for the Chicago Medical Society of 1,059 Chicago-area doctors indicated 77 percent of respondents had a negative view of the House version of the American Health Care Act, and 67 percent said they would support a single-payer system.