Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell aims for a vote this week, but it is not clear if he can rally the support needed to do so.
“Americans need relief from the failed Obamacare law,” McConnell said in a statement issued after the CBO report was released. “The Senate will soon take action on a bill that the Congressional Budget Office just confirmed will reduce the growth in premiums under Obamacare, reduce taxes on the middle class, and reduce the deficit. The American people need better care now, and this legislation includes the necessary tools to provide it.”
But the White House issued a statement questioning the report’s findings, saying that “the CBO has consistently proven it cannot accurately predict how health-care legislation will impact insurance coverage.”
As of right now, it is difficult to gauge how much support the bill has.
Four conservative senators — Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — argue the Senate proposal does not go far enough to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
Moderate Republican Susan Collins of Maine said Monday night she would vote “no” on the motion to proceed with the bill. In a tweet, Collins said she wants to work with Republicans and Democrats to “fix the flaws” in Obamacare, but the “Senate bill won’t do it.”
Paul also said Monday he would oppose a motion to proceed without changes.
Also on the GOP’s so-called moderate wing, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada has opposed the bill as written, slamming its rollback of Medicaid expansion. Heller is up for re-election next year in Nevada, a state where Medicaid expansion provided coverage to about 210,000 people, according to its Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval.
After the CBO report’s release, Sen. Bill Cassidy, (R-La.), told CNN that he had not seen the CBO report but that, as described by the network, it made him “more concerned.” He added that he remains “uncommitted.”
House Republicans barely managed to muster enough votes with a series of last-minute amendments before the chamber passed its highly criticized Obamacare replacement plan last month. That chamber, too, faced opposition from both conservative and moderate pockets.