After weeks of shrouding the bill in secrecy, the draft of the healthcare bill aimed at repealing the Affordable Health Care Act will be unveiledThursday as the Senators still struggle over the basic issues such as the future of the Medicaid program for the poor and cutting insurance costs.
Two abortion-related provisions in the House-passed bill that rewrites the US health insurance system have been dropped from the Senate's counterpart version, according to several lobbyists.
"I stand by my pledge to increase transparency and accessibility in the U.S. Senate, and my resolution will give members ample time to read all legislation before they vote", he said.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he hasn't seen a draft of Senate Republicans' health care bill, but joked that the Russians have probably seen it by now. Whereas Senate Democrats held 25 days of debate on Obamacare, the Republicans have reportedly budgeted themselves about a week between the release of the bill's text and the vote on it. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined by, from left, Sen. "I'd find it hard to believe we'll have enough time", he said, adding that if he doesn't get enough information "I won't be voting yes". Listen, there has to be private meetings all the time, but there should be more public debate on this, it just looks like they're trying to hide something.
"I think getting things done as quickly as we can is very important", he said.
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Senate conservatives also seemed wary of the emerging bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, defending the closed-door sessions, has said all Senate Republicans have had a chance to participate in meetings on the bill, and that Democrats are not interested in discussing Obamacare repeal. The bill will be brought to the Senate floor once the CBO has assessed its cost and impact, "likely next week", McConnell said. They unanimously oppose the GOP bill but lack the votes to defeat it. "They're obstructionists", he said to applause. The AHCA used age rather than income to calculate subsidies. Chris Murphy (D-CT).
The concern among members of the president's own party come as the Senate prepares to publicly release the Senate legislation on Thursday, which White House spokesman Sean Spicer admitted on Wednesday the president hasn't even seen yet. Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Murkowski has opposed past conservative efforts to include language barring federal payments to Planned Parenthood, a group many Republicans abhor because it provides abortions.