KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Road To 50 Votes Paved With Uncertainty, Doubts Despite Changes In Drafts

Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have already said they won't support the new bill, which leaves Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell no room for error in his quest for 50 votes.

Politico: Senate Republicans One Vote Away From Obamacare Repeal Failure
Majority Whip John Cornyn acknowledged GOP leaders don’t have the minimum 50 votes right now but insisted, "We're making good progress." He said he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were not making "state-specific" promises to wavering senators and were instead merely trying to convince them that the bill is better than Obamacare."We're not through yet," Cornyn said of his and McConnell's work. (Everett and Haberkorn, 7/13)

The Associated Press: Trouble For Revised Senate Health Bill; Trump Wants Action
Moderate Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told reporters she had informed McConnell she would be voting against beginning debate on the bill, citing in part cuts in the Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has repeatedly complained that McConnell's efforts don't amount to a full-blown repeal of Obamacare, also announced he was a "no." That means McConnell cannot lose any other Republican senators. (Werner and Fram, 7/14)

The Hill: Moderates Holding Back Support For New Senate Bill 
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), who has been an ally of Portman's during the healthcare talks, said she doesn’t know whether she’ll vote to proceed to the bill after hearing a presentation from Senate Republican leaders at the Capitol. (Bolton, 7/13)

CQ HealthBeat: New Health Care Draft Does Not Win Over Many Holdouts
McConnell is urging his party’s holdouts, including Rob Portman of Ohio and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, to back the legislation because the majority leader said the bill's sharpest cuts, which go into effect in 2026, would never happen. Portman issued a statement saying he'd review the text and the upcoming CBO analysis, adding that he opposed the previous version because of its Medicaid cuts. (Clason, 7/13)

Bloomberg: Republican Health Bill Draft May Be Destined For Another Rewrite 
Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who had opposed plans to advance an earlier version of the bill in late June, said Thursday that he will support debating the current bill, although he isn’t ready to give his full backing. Johnson said he expects some of the remaining deficit reduction in the bill to be spent, though he would prefer to shrink the budget gap. (Dennis and Litvan, 7/14)

KCUR: Moran Studying Changes To Senate Health Bill, Opponents Urging Him To Stand Firm 
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran’s silence Thursday on the GOP’s revised bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act prompted one Capitol Hill reporter to refer to him as a “mystery man.” Several Republican senators who either opposed or had concerns about an initial draft of the bill commented on changes unveiled Thursday by GOP leaders in an effort to gain votes. But not Moran. In response to repeated emails, a spokesperson in his office said only that the senator was analyzing the changes “to fully understand the impact on Kansas.” (Mclean, 7/14)

McClatchy: Marco Rubio Will Vote To Proceed On Obamacare Repeal Bill
After the bill was released on Thursday and he huddled with his Republican colleagues, Rubio said his demands were met, and Florida’s junior senator was ready to announce his support... Two Republican senators said Thursday they are not in favor of moving forward with the bill: Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate, and conservative Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. (Daugherty, 7/13)

Meanwhile —

Kaiser Health News: Opposition To GOP Repeal Bill Inches Up, Intensifies
Public opposition to the Republican effort to replace the Affordable Care Act grew stronger this month, but a core group of Republicans remained in support, according to a poll released Friday. Sixty-one percent of the public said this month they did not like the GOP health care effort, now undergoing a revised push in the Senate. (Rau, 7/14)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.