Senate health care status: No bill yet

Gazette-Mail file

Groups fighting the Republican drive to replace Obamacare say they're anxious that investigations into President Donald Trump and his campaign are diverting from efforts to derail the GOP health-care bill. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., left, and Sen.

To the Editor: While all eyes were on James Comey, Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader, set about destroying health care coverage for Americans.

U.S. Senate Democrats said they plan to slow Senate business to a crawl starting Monday evening to protest behind-the-scenes Republican work on repealing former President Barack Obama's healthcare law, known as Obamacare.

Rep. Greg Walden of OR, who helped shepherd the party's health-care overhaul bill through the House last month, sat down with Louise Radnofsky, The Wall Street Journal's White House reporter, to offer his take on where the effort stands. Health-care bill opponents want to hammer Republicans at home during the break in an effort to kill the proposal later in the month.

The AHA also warned against allowing states to waive out of ObamaCare regulations that ban insurers from charging sick people more for coverage and mandate what services they must cover.

Yes, there is urgency to craft an alternative to the teetering health law.

Afghan soldier attacks foreign soldiers, wounding 4
Earlier this year in March a similar insider attack wounded three USA soldiers at an Afghan military complex in Helmand province. At least four foreign soldiers were wounded Saturday after an Afghan soldier opened fire on them, Afghan officials said.

It will include trying to force votes aimed at drawing attention to the lack of transparency, such as committee hearings, on the GOP legislation. Many Republican senators have pushed for a more gradual phaseout in their bill, as well as preserving certain protections for preexisting conditions under the ACA not maintained in the House bill. Medicaid now covers more than 70 million low-income people.

The bill is now so secret that even President Trump's secretary of Health and Human Services and the second-highest ranking Republican in the Senate (and the third person in the line of presidential succession, mind you) say that they haven't seen a copy of it.

But not a single Senate Republican has a town hall scheduled until well after the congressional recess, according to the Town Hall Project, which tracks these events.

The Affordable Care Act that the Republicans propose to repeal and replace was a product of 14 months of hearings and amendments. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; and Dean Heller R-Nev., according to the report. He declined to comment on whether the president believed the House-passed bill was "mean" and said the administration felt "very good" about the progress the Senate is making on the bill. Democratic senators will also make floor speeches late Monday on the subject. But GOP senators still disagree on a number of key issues, such as what to do with Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, taxes and tax credits.

"I think we need to do everything we can to lower costs", she added.

Now that Senate Republicans have removed the town hall from the resistance's arsenal, activists are brainstorming ways to build other weapons.

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