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Senate GOP aiming for vote this month on health legislation

Senate GOP aiming for vote this month on health legislation

President Donald Trump's administration is "fully in a receiving mode" for suggestions to improve a push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, his health chief told a room of health professionals Tuesday in Nashville.

"If the group of 13 comes up with something, all the other groups will fall away", said Rodney Whitlock, former acting health policy director for Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Any later than that and they'll be in an election year where a thorny major tax reform bill becomes even harder to pass politically.

Later Tuesday, Trump will have dinner with Sens. On the regulatory front, we don't anticipate major changes coming from the new USA administration in this area.

"I think there's a consensus on parts of the plan". "We may be working on this for a while". Mike Conaway of Midland, who is the Republican leader of the House-side investigation. Lindsey Graham of SC, who prefers that the law collapse and force a bipartisan solution.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, known for choosing his words carefully, told Reuters he didn't see the path to a majority yet. Additionally, the House is supposed to be considering and putting together some kind of comprehensive tax reform bill even though, so far, all they've gotten from the White House so far is a list of talking points that don't come anywhere close to being what is needed for them to even start considering the matter at the committee level.

Short said he believed that the Senate healthcare bill would be "similar" to the House package.

Only a couple of months ago, Trump was discussing the possibility of a gas-tax hike to fund infrastructure spending, but that idea seems unlikely to fly in a bill that will need the votes of 50 of 52 GOP senators to pass and will most likely occur during an election year.

Looming over everything is the investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign and connections with the Trump campaign. Trump's own shifting policy positions have left Ryan and McConnell struggling to lead restive Republicans in a coherent strategy.

"What I see is more and more concerns about Medicaid as a component of" the bill, said Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Reps.

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And then there is the unknown: Members are increasingly bracing for more curve balls coming from an unpredictable White House.

Republicans have been using the so-called budget reconciliation process to try to gut Obamacare.

Trump has not helped matters, lawmakers say, with his unfiltered tweets that often amplify and prolong story lines that a more disciplined leader would be able to quiet. "And I'm looking forward to seeing it - so looking forward to seeing it", Trump said flanked by the GOP leaders at a conference table.

Some centrist Republicans, like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, praise this strategy.

"There's been a lot of discussions with staff", Mr Short told reporters at a briefing.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who is the only Republican up for re-election in 2018 in a state that Trump lost, also said that he's not yet willing to support the plan.

And essentially every Hill Republican was elected on a promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare. He also asked for the public's support. "I think it's our responsibility". The Senate plan is even more ambitious, slashing taxes by up to $1 billion. But the trouble is within their own ranks as Senate Republicans disagree over how quickly to unwind the Medicaid expansion under Obama's health law, as well as other elements of the GOP bill. That's a dealbreaker for many senators from states that have benefited from expansion. Secrecy was paramount, he insisted, not only because he didn't want the Islamic State to find out but also because he didn't want his political rivals to steal his brilliant scheme and claim credit.

On Tuesday, Anthem announced it was pulling out of Ohio's Obamacare marketplace, leaving thousands without coverage on the private market.

And Sen. Richard Burr told a local North Carolina news station last week that he didn't expect a healthcare deal to get done in 2017 and was focusing on actions created to stabilize the individual insurance market instead. David Perdue (R-GA), who rattled off a series of question marks about the Senate GOP health plan, focusing on how to bring down premiums, and how to deal with the costs of Medicaid.

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