US Republicans Delay Vote on Healthcare Bill

US Republicans Delay Vote on Healthcare BillUS Republicans Delay Vote on Healthcare Bill

US Senate Republicans have delayed a vote on their healthcare bill until after next week's July 4 holiday.

The announcement by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a setback to their plan to replace Obamacare, BBC reported.

Eight Republican senators have vowed to oppose the bill and the party can only afford to lose two votes to get it passed in the upper chamber.

US President Donald Trump invited Senate Republicans to the White House for a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Sitting alongside some of the party rebels, he said: "This will be great if we get it done. And if we don't get it done, it's just going to be something that we're not going to like. And that's okay and I understand that very well."

A similar version of the bill has already passed the House, after facing a similar delay.

After Congress returns from the bank holiday, there will be a two-week window before the summer break.

McConnell vowed to continue to try to find the votes and would make changes to the bill, if necessary.

Moderate senators say the bill will harm some of their vulnerable constituents, while conservatives say it has too much government interference.

The news of a delay comes just one day after the non-partisan Congressional Budgetary Office said the bill would strip 22 million Americans of health insurance over the next 10 years.

The 142-page Senate bill-the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017-phases out the expansion of Medicaid, a government health program for the low-income Americans and imposes deep cuts to the program.

The bill also gives states more latitude in requiring insurers to provide essential health benefits guaranteed under Obamacare, including emergency and maternity care and mental health services.

House Republicans faced similar setbacks, of course. In fact, their leaders did not delay their measure until just hours before what would have been a doomed vote. The Senate, as always, moves more cautiously. The political reality in both instances, however, is the same.

Moderates Republicans think the bill cuts government health programs too much. Conservatives believe the reforms don't go far enough.

The House eventually managed to find a compromise. Senators can be a bit more stubborn, though-and the Republican margins in that chamber are slimmer.

Washington politicians now head home for a week of Fourth of July parades and constituent meetings. They're certain to get an earful from across the political spectrum.

Caption: US President Donald Trump meets with Senate Republicans about healthcare in the East Room of the White House in Washington on June 27.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints