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Sen. Roberts (KS) in support, but 4 GOP senators say they oppose health care bill

June 22, 2017 - 1:38 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Four Republican senators say they are not ready to vote for the GOP health care bill, putting the measure in jeopardy.

The four are Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky. They say in a statement that they are open to negotiation before the full Senate considers the measure.

The four say there are provisions that are an improvement to the current health care system. But they add that the measure fails to accomplish what they have promised to their constituents, "to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs."

GOP leaders hope to vote on the bill next week and can only afford two defections from the 52 Senate Republicans.

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) has released the following statement on the discussion draft of the Senate health care bill:

“For more than seven years, Obamacare’s mandates, taxes and regulations have wreaked havoc on our health care system and Americans’ pocketbooks,” Roberts said. “Since the law’s insurance mandates took effect, premiums in Kansas have doubled and insurers have exited the individual insurance market. We cannot continue to allow Obamacare to bring our healthcare system crashing down around our shoulders.

“The Senate bill protects the very sick, seniors and young people. People with pre-existing conditions will keep their health care. Children under 26 remain on the parents’ plans. There are no annual or lifetime limits on coverage. We reduce the deficit; we reform Medicaid, one of the big three entitlements. We eliminate the gap in coverage Obamacare created that hurt too many low-income families. We stabilize collapsing insurance markets.

“It is time to put ideology aside and move. What is the alternative? Single payer, socialized medicine? The American people don’t want that. We can’t delay. Delay is higher premiums, higher co-pays and less choice. This bill is the best path to immediate relief for patients in 2018. This bill is the best possible bill under very difficult circumstances.

“As debate moves forward I will work to see that rural healthcare is protected and that we achieve our ultimate goal of improving access to quality care for all Americans.

“I urge Kansans to examine the Senate bill. As we await a score and then consider amendments on the floor, I welcome the feedback of Kansans.”

Earlier this year, the Senate passed a Budget Resolution that related to the repeal of Obamacare. The Resolution contains reconciliation instructions that require committees to dismantle Obamacare by reducing federal spending by $2 billion. For more information and for text of the Budget Resolution, go here.

Budget Resolutions are privileged and require a simple majority to pass.

Senator Roberts serves on the two of the committees tasked with reconciliation: The Senate Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP).

Since the health care reform debate in 2009, Senator Roberts has been an outspoken opponent of Obamacare. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Roberts fought against the flawed plan in both committees, and voted against the legislation on the Senate Floor. Senator Roberts, the co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, has supported several measures to repeal Obamacare in the nearly seven years since its enactment.

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