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Sen Susan Collins opposes GOP health bill; CBO says it cuts coverage for 'millions'


Published: Mon, September 25, 2017 @ 6:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP)

Republican Sen. Susan Collins says she is opposed to latest GOP health care bill, undermining prospects for passage.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office says the bill, which would repeal the Obama health law would reduce insurance coverage for 'millions.'

And Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said he doubts whether the bill will even come up for a vote this week.

Another top Republican says a meeting Tuesday of all Senate Republicans will decide the measure’s fate.

Hatch was asked on Monday if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will bring the bill up for a vote. Hatch replied, “I doubt it.”

Prospects for the bill are uncertain as a decisive handful of Republicans remain opposed to the measure proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy.

But the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn of Texas, says Republican leaders will have to meet with the rank and file Tuesday before any decisions are made.

This afternoon,protesters in wheelchairs interrupted the hearing on the bill — loudly screaming, “No cuts to Medicaid! Save our liberty!”

The noisy protests forced Finance Committee Chairman Hatch to recess the hearing just moments after it began.

Hatch told the protesters, “If you want a hearing you better shut up!” His complaint was to no avail as the protests continued.

So Hatch then shut the hearing down, saying it would resume when order was restored.

The protesters were removed from the hearing room one by one.

The hearing cames as Senate Republicans pursue a last-ditch effort to pass the legislation to repeal and replace “Obamacare.” Their votes are coming up short ahead of a make-or-break deadline at the end of this week.

This morning, President Donald Trump said Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain delivered “a tremendous slap in the face of the Republican Party” by voting to kill the party’s July effort to repeal the Obama health care law.

McCain returned to the Senate after being diagnosed with brain cancer and voted against the bill in a dramatic post-midnight roll call. He was the third Republican to vote “no,” just enough to kill it.

Trump says, “That’s the only reason we don’t have it, because of John McCain.”

Trump called the “Rick and Bubba Show,” an Alabama-based talk radio program. Trump has been campaigning to help Alabama GOP Sen. Luther Strange win a primary contest this week.

GOP leaders face an uphill fight this week to prevent a final defeat of their health effort.


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