The Latest on a Senate GOP plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system article The Senate is set to vote on the GOP’s latest healthcare bill on Tuesday, and the Senate majority leader has warned that any Democrat who votes against the bill could lose their seat.
“We’re in this game all year, we’re playing the game, and if we can’t win this game, we’ll have a lot more trouble,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on CBS’ Face the Nation on Monday.
“But if we have to go to the floor and defeat a bill, we will.”
Republicans are working on a final draft of their healthcare bill that will be sent to the Senate for consideration this week.
They have a 52-48 majority in the chamber and need to win at least three Republican votes to pass the bill.
But some Democrats have said they don’t want to see the bill pass without a Democratic endorsement.
The Senate GOP has been struggling with its plan to replace Obamacare since its passage last year, and it has been beset by criticism that the bill does not provide enough money for people with pre-existing conditions, including those with cancer or heart disease.
In his CBS interview, McConnell also warned Democrats against voting against the legislation if they do not want to lose their seats in November.
“If we’re not going to be able to win on this issue, if we’re going to have the opportunity to lose seats, if the Senate is going to lose its majority, if it’s going to get more partisan than that, if our party is going go down the road of trying to get a bill that doesn’t even provide the money that we think it does, then we’re just going to look at it as another election-year distraction,” McConnell said.
Democrats are demanding that Republicans provide more details on how the bill would be paid for.
“They’re going through the process now.
I don’t have any details on that,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“The only thing I have is a commitment that this is going get passed.”
McConnell has defended his plan to make healthcare coverage available to everyone without charge.
“There is no reason to be concerned about premiums being lower than under the current law,” he said in a statement on Monday, but he said it would take more time to find out how that would work.
Republicans are also seeking a compromise that would allow states to waive their COBRA requirements.
Under the bill, the Senate could then pass legislation to allow states that opted out of the law to offer coverage without COBAR waivers, which could help cover more people with high deductibles and co-pays.
The Congressional Budget Office says that would have a limited impact on coverage, as the CBO predicts that the waivers would only cover about 5 percent of the population.