Senate Republicans not sure they have the votes to pass their health care bill

Enough Republicans have come out against the GOP health care bill to make even a vote uncertain

By Matthew Rozsa

Published June 27, 2017 7:44AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate Republican leadership can only afford to lose the backing of two of their 52 senators for their new health care bill in order for it to pass. Unfortunately for them, losing two members of their party may be a bit optimistic.

Among the moderates, the most vocal Republican opponent was Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who took to Twitter on Monday to blast the new bill after the Congressional Budget Office said that up to 22 million people could wind up uninsured.

Meanwhile Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada seems to remain stalwart in his opposition to repealing Obamacare, despite facing attacks from both conservative groups for doing so.

From the conservative side, there are at least four senators who are currently opposed to the bill — Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska summed up the reservations of many of her colleagues when she explained that the bill, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would rip health insurance away from 22 million people, has not provided enough incentives to persuade legislators such as herself to support it.

"I don't have enough data in terms of the impact to my state to be able to vote in the affirmative," Murkowski told CNN's Dana Bash. "So I'm trying to get the information."

She added, "This is big stuff, and so making sure that we get it right is something that I have said is an imperative."

Not surprisingly, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has already told reporters that this bill is as bad as its unpopular counterpart produced by the House of Representatives.

"CBO's report today makes clear that this bill is every bit as 'mean as the House bill," Schumer told reporters.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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