Senate Republican leaders bowed to pressure from within their own ranks Tuesday and postponed a vote to overhaul the Affordable Care Act until after the Fourth of July recess, raising new doubts about their ability to fulfill one of the GOP's core promises.
Conservatives are blasting the plan for leaving in place too much of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, while a coalition of patient advocates, doctors and senior citizens' groups have joined Democrats in decrying its proposed cuts to the Medicaid program and rollback of taxes on the wealthy.
Atul Grover, executive vice president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, told reporters that he and other doctors "take it personally" that the bill would lock people out of insurance for six months if they go for 63 days without a health plan and try to sign up for one the next year.
Come back in six months, when your insurance kicks in." With Vice President Pence ready to cast a tiebreaking vote on the measure, Republican leaders can lose only two of their 52 members to pass the bill, which no Democrat is willing to support.
Senate leaders had been working with undecided senators to determine whether any skeptics could be won over with additional spending on priorities such as expanding incentives for health-savings accounts favored by conservatives or a fund to help battle opioid addiction favored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).
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