Trump Optimistic Senate Health Care Bill Gains Support Needed

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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) — President Donald Trump has promised some last-minute changes to the Senate Republican healthcare bill to try to secure enough votes to get the legislation passed.

“We have a very good plan,” said the president on Sunday. “We have a few people that are, I think you can say modestly, they’re not standing on the rooftop screaming, they want to get some points. I think they’ll get some points.”

At least five Republican Senators have publicly opposed the bill.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) counts at least seven more, including herself, who are troubled by the bill’s cuts to Medicaid.

“You can’t take over $800 billion out of the Medicaid program and not expect that it’s going to have an impact on a rural nursing home that relies on Medicaid for 70% of the costs of its patients,” she said.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is a physician who worked with low-income patients.

“I’m undecided,” he said. “I frankly would like more days to consider this.”

But Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell wants a vote on the bill before Congress leaves for its July 4th holiday.

He needs the support of at least 50 of the 52 Republican senators. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) led rallies opposing the legislation in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio this weekend.

“This bill will throw an additional 23 million people off of the healthcare they have, raising the total of uninsured in America to over 50 million people,” said Sanders. “This is literally beyond comprehension. It is unconscionable and it must not be allowed to happen.”

Other Democrats say they’re ready to negotiate.

“If Mitch doesn’t have the votes, call off this bill right now,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). “And let’s sit down and start working toward repairing the basic concept of what we have in the Affordable Care Act. We’re willing to do that.”

The Congressional Budget Office plans to issue its analysis of the new bill as early as Monday.

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