WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) — The Senate will get its first look at a health care bill which was written by both Republicans and Democrats and enjoys bipartisan support.
But “bipartisan” does not necessarily mean the bill can pass. The plan to shore up Obamacare hit the Senate floor Thursday.
Co-authored by Republican Lamar Alexander and Democrat Patty Murray attempts to stabilize the individual insurance market by reinstating subsidies for insurance companies to bring down the cost of coverage for low-income Americans for two more years.
President Donald Trump announced last week he would halt those payments, which he claims are a bailout for insurance companies.
“If something can happen, that’s fine, but I won’t do anything to enrich the insurance companies,” he said.
The White House coming out against the bill has given some key Republicans the green light to come out against it, as well. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the Senate “should keep its focus on repeal and replace of Obamacare.” And Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch called for a long-term solution, not a short-term fix.
“At this point, the lukewarm reception by Republican leaders in the House and Senate is not very encouraging,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).
But Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) refused to declare the bill dead on arrival.
“They’re trying to find a solution to a real problem and so I think we shouldn’t give up on it, we ought to keep working,” said Sen. Cornyn.
The bill’s best chance to pass could come in December when the next government funding bill is due. Republicans will likely need Democratic support to get a new spending bill passed, which means Democrats could force through a compromise on health care.
A bipartisan group of governors signed a letter to Congress urging them to support the plan.