Critics of Senate health bill hope to sway GOP Sen. Cassidy

"If President Trump thought the health care bill in the House was mean, I can tell you that the Senate Republican plan is downright nasty", Menendez said. While it's not certain whether it has the votes to pass just yet, this much is clear: it's got a chance, and if it does it's likely to become law.

Heller faces perhaps the toughest reelection race next year of all the GOP senators who will be on the ballot, so it's not entirely surprising he came out against the bill, given how deeply unpopular the House version of the repeal legislation has shown to be. Other Senate "moderates" seem to be angling for a slower phase-out of the expansion and a slightly more liberal cap.

He called on citizens to pressure lawmakers into working with each other by calling and visiting members of Congress and sharing their stories about how the proposed bill will affect them. It was widely expected that they were positioning themselves to wring some concessions out of Senate leadership. Improving it by "tens of millions" would really be a stretch.

"The sicker you are, the more you have to pay, the older you are, the more you have to pay, the poorer you are, the more you have to pay", said Dr. Seth Foldy, former Milwaukee health commissioner.

Sandoval, a Republican who accepted Obamacare's Medicaid expansion in his state, said about 210,000 people gained health coverage under the law. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning a vote next week.

"Transitioning federal Medicaid payments to a per-capita, or block grant system, and freezing Medicaid expansion would reduce the number of people with insurance and increase hospitals' exposure to bad debt and uncompensated care costs", said Ms. Gladstone. Republican Reps. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, and Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Vancouver, also voted against the House version of the health-care bill.

- Gives each state a fixed amount of Medicaid funding, forcing states to make cuts when money runs out. The state has added 200,000 more people to its program under the Obama overhaul. If federal Medicaid funding is restricted, costs in billions would shift to Albany, requiring New York State to choose between raising taxes, drastically reducing services, shifting costs to New York City or kicking entire groups of people off the program. It is health care rationing, forcing many to pay more for less coverage and limiting Medicaid spending in ways that are even crueler than the House bill envisions. Some of the GOP senators he'll need to persuade have built their own separate political identities in their home states and may be less inclined to embrace Trump.

Already four conservative senators have threatened to oppose the bill that is facing criticism from right-wing groups.

American Lung Association national president and CEO Harold P. Wimmer said the bill falls "woefully short of providing health care for the 32 million Americans living with lung disease", and that it should be rejected.

"I'm terrified I'm going to lose that insurance because there isn't a cure for multiple sclerosis", she said. He pointed to insurers bailing on the individual-insurance market, and to premiums in Washington state potentially rising by an average of more than 20 percent next year.

ABC News also reported that as the GOP bill was being released Thursday morning there was a "large protest gathered outside McConnell's office, with people in wheelchairs staging a 'die-in, ' and protesters chanting that no changes be made to Medicaid".

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