GOP Healthcare
Protesters greet senators leaving Ronald Regan Washington National Airport in Terminal B in Washington, D.C., June 22, 2017. Getty Images/Tasos Katopodis

The GOP healthcare bill, presented by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday, is being opposed by conservative Republican senators because it does not repeal former President Barack Obama’s health-care law, the Affordable Care Act to the extent that they had hoped that it would.

Republican leaders are planning to bring it to a final vote next week, as McConnell tries to get the 142-page bill passed in the Senate before the July 4 recess. In order for the bill to receive a green light, 50 out of 52 Republican senators would have to vote “yes,” which might not be possible when it comes to the current version of the bill, the Washington Post reported.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Utah Sen. Mike Lee are currently opposing the bill, stating that they might come around to supporting the same if a few changes are made to it, since their original agenda – repealing Obamacare – is not being fulfilled by the current draft of the bill.

“This current draft doesn’t get the job done,” Cruz said. “But I believe we can get to yes.”

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None of the conservative senators have said that they are going to oppose the bill. Instead, they want to hold back their final decision till after all the negotiations are done and dusted.

While substantial number of Republican senators being unhappy with the bill could be a bump on the road, the real test of the bill would arrive in the following week when the Congressional Budget Office releases its analysis of the bill. The Republican vote on the bill could come down to that assessment in question which would determine aspects such as how many citizens stand to lose their insurance coverage, how the premiums would be impacted, and its effect on the federal budget deficit.

Among the number of issues that have been raised by the senators regarding the bill, budget cuts for Medicaid takes the top spot. Both Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Nevada Sen. Dean Heller have expressed serious “concerns” about the lack of Medicaid provisions under the bill and how it would lead to long-term federal spending cuts to the program.

In addition to Medicaid, Collins has also opposed the fact that the proposed GOP bill will block federal funding for Planned Parenthood. However, Collins said during an interview on NBC's "MTP Daily" that it is not just Medicaid or Planned Parenthood that she is worried about.

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"I cannot support a bill that is going to result in tens of millions of people losing their health insurance, and I cannot support a bill that's going to make such deep cuts in Medicaid that it's going to shift billions of dollars of costs to our state governments ... and to healthcare providers, such as rural hospitals, which would be faced with a great deal of uncompensated care. So it isn't any one factor. I do care also about funding Planned Parenthood. It's all of those factors put together that will influence my decision,” Collins said, Washington Examiner reported.

Heller, on the other hand, had expanded the Medicaid program under the Obamacare and as a result, hundreds of thousands of Nevadans came to heavily depend on it in the last few years. "If the bill is good for Nevada, I'll vote for it and if it's not — I won't," Heller wrote in a statement, Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

Obama finally weighed in on the GOP healthcare bill Thursday, in a long Facebook post. “I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party,” he wrote. “Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.”

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