GOP healthcare bill is one opponent away from demise

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Our answer is yes, this is a first step toward the full repeal of Obamacare, and - given the weak-kneed Republican leadership on Capitol Hill - this is as close as we are going to get for the moment.

"As the U.S. Senate considers the Better Care Reconciliation Act, we are writing to urge you to strike the "Consumer Freedom Option" from the bill", the letter reads.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that the expected vote on the GOP healthcare bill has been delayed, as Senator John McCain recovers from surgery for a blood clot. But it kept the core of the earlier bill, including ending the expansion of Medicaid that was instrumental in enabling Obamacare to expand coverage to 20 million people, and restructuring that social safety-net program.

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The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill would cut Medicaid by almost $800 billion by 2026, and would cut Medicaid 35 percent come 2036. To buy off establishment Senators like Ohio's Rob Portman and West Virginia's Shelly Moore Capito McConnell has also promised another $45 billion to tackle the ongoing opioid crisis.

Ms Collins is one of two Republican senators who have already said that they would not even vote to open debate on the latest version of the bill released on Thursday, meaning one more defection from the Republican ranks could kill it.

The senator noted that the "worst" part about these sweeping changes is that they would take place "without the Senate having held a single hearing to evaluate their impact".

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Politico reports that it is not yet clear whether the inclusion of Cruz's proposal will be enough for some of his conservative Senate colleagues, such as Senator Rand Paul, but we hope it will earn Senator Paul's support.

Sixty-three percent of the respondents said it is more important for the Trump administration to provide healthcare to low-income people rather than cutting taxes.

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