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Trump reaches out to lawmakers on healthcare as another says 'no'

Trump reaches out to lawmakers on healthcare as another says 'no'

Nevada Republican Dean Heller became the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition to the party's banner legislation to scuttle much of Barack Obama's health care overhaul on Friday, more than enough to sink the measure and deliver a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump unless some of them can be brought aboard.

There have been reports Senate Republican leaders want to vote on the bill next week. Sen.

"This bill that's now in front of the United States Senate is not the answer", Mr Heller, a moderate who is up for re-election in 2018, said at a news conference in Las Vegas.

"I can not support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Nevadans", Heller said.

Echoing the other four, Heller said he opposes the measure "in this form" but does not rule out backing a version that is changed to his liking.

The GOP-controlled Senate bill introduced Thursday would phase out federal money to states which opted to expand the low-income health insurance program.

Rand Paul, who has rejected the plan along with fellow Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson, said fundamental problems remained that would leave taxpayers subsidizing health insurance companies.

"He's more engaging, which means he has more personal relationships", said No. 2 House Republican Kevin McCarthy of California.




"It's going to be very hard to get me to a 'yes, '" Heller said Friday.

"It's going to be a good bill", Mr Trump said in a separate Fox News interview to air on Sunday.

"If the concerns that I have and the others have are addressed, I think it will pass", even if it takes longer than the Republican leaders' self-imposed deadline of July 4, he told Fox News.

The group said in a statement Friday it's encouraged that the Senate bill would take immediate action to stabilize shaky insurance markets by guaranteeing billions of dollars in subsidies under jeopardy due to a legal dispute and political maneuvering. Lawmakers are scheduled to break on July 28.

While Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House, the party's efforts to unwind Obamacare have been dogged by internal conflicts between moderate and hard-line members of the party.

Mr. Portman, along with Republican senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Susan Collins of ME, has previously been adamant that any health-care plan should include significant funding for substance abuse treatment and prevention. This week he called for a health plan "with heart".

Obama held nothing back as he weighed in on Facebook.

"Assuming that 15 million fewer people would have coverage in 2026, we estimate that the coverage losses from the Senate bill would result in 18,100 additional deaths in 2026", the Center for American Progress explained, assuming coverage loss based on the previous Congressional Budget Office score. Under the Senate plan, for example, people in their 50s would face premiums of more than $1,000 a month on the federal exchange - up 13 percent from today. Fewer than one in three Americans supports it, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.


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