Heller won't back Senate GOP health care bill

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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.

"I can not support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans", Heller said in a news conference held in his home state.

The bill also scales back federal funding for Medicaid - which is more than half the spending for the program at the state level.

Democrats are united in opposition to the proposal, which was worked out in secret by a group led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Former members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) spoke to BuzzFeed News Thursday about Senate Republicans' new health care bill.

The head of the National Rural Health Association said the organization will oppose the Senate's healthcare bill because the legislation will hurt rural America. That would focus the aid more on people with lower incomes than the House legislation, which bases its subsidies on age.

They say the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, needs fixing not replacing.

Rand Paul, who has rejected the plan along with fellow Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson, said fundamental problems remained that would leave taxpayers subsidizing health insurance companies.

Sandoval, a Republican who chose to opt into expanding Medicaid, said 210,000 received health coverage because of the decision.

McConnell wants the bill passed next week, still with no public hearings or opportunities for health care experts or advocates to have a say. Neither he nor fellow Arizona Sen. The Senate bill would modify those government price controls somewhat, allowing insurers to charge 64-year-olds five times what they charge 18-year-olds (as opposed to three times, under current law). Further complicating the issue for him is Nevada's Republican Governor, Brian Sandoval, an outspoken supporter of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion.

There are a few distinctions, though I wouldn't call them real differences.

"If you have low-priced insurance, you go back to what you had before the Affordable Care Act, where you have plans that have all sorts of exclusions from coverage or you have to pay an extra amount", Giaimo said.

His presentation on Thursday of the Senate's health care measure to Republican colleagues - after the White House and key lobbyists got a peek the night before - was met with something other than unbridled enthusiasm.

The state's uninsured rate has gone down from about 23 percent to roughly 12 percent, with the 18 percent of Nevada's children without coverage dropping to 8 percent. So we're going to get that done next.

Now he's facing his next challenge - persuading enough Republicans to back the measure.

This is the bill with "heart" President Trump told senators he wanted? Erasing Obama's law has been a marquee pledge for Trump and virtually the entire party for years, and failure would be a shattering defeat for the GOP.

McConnell released the bill after weeks of closed-door meetings searching for middle ground between conservative senators seeking an aggressive repeal of Obama's statute and centrists warning about going too far.

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