Political News

Here's where Republican senators stand on the health care bill

Posted June 22
Updated June 27

Senate Republicans rolled out their health care plan Thursday, and within hours the bill was already on shaky ground.

Republicans can only afford to lose two of their 52 senators for the bill to pass.

As of Monday, most Republicans are still reviewing the text, but here is what many have said so far:

Opposes in current form but open to negotiations: 6-

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) ---Collins announced that she will vote "no" on a motion to proceed to the bill. "I want to work w/ my GOP & Dem colleagues to fix the flaws in ACA. CBO analysis shows Senate bill won't do it. I will vote no on mtp, CBO says 22 million people lose insurance; Medicaid cuts hurt most vulnerable Americans; access to healthcare in rural areas threatened. Senate bill doesn't fix ACA problems for rural Maine. Our hospitals are already struggling. 1 in 5 Mainers are on Medicaid" (A series of tweets on 6/26)

Sen. Dean Heller (Nevada) -- Heller also plans to vote against a motion to proceed and said that the Senate Republican health care bill "is not the answer. It's simply not the answer. And I'm announcing today that in this form, I simply will not support it. (Comments made at a news conference 6/23)

Sen. Rand Paul (Kentucky) -- Paul told reporters on 6/26 that he will vote against a motion to proceed to the bill.

"They've promised too much.- They say they're going to fix health care and premiums are going to down.- There's no way the Republican bill brings down premiums.- Look, I've been in medicine 20 years.- I'm 54 years old.- Premiums have never gone down.- They're not going to go down after the Republican bill.- And it's a false, sort of over-promising to say, oh, yes, insurance premiums are going to go down.- But we're keeping 10 of the 12 mandates that caused the prices to go up.- It's a foolish notion to promise something you can't provide." (Interview with ABC'S "This week" on 6/25)

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) -- Cruz told CNN on 6/27 that he is continuing to discuss with McConnell the many reforms he has been advocating in the health care working group for several months. Asked if he still a "no" on the bill he said "it continues to be a work in progress."

Sen. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) -- Johnson told CNN on 6/26 that he will vote "no" on a motion to proceed. "If leader McConnell says failure is not an option, don't set yourself up for failure," he told reporters earlier in the day.

"I want the time to consider this thoroughly, to allow my constituents in Wisconsin a chance to review it, provide their valuable input and feedback," he said on 6/27 on Fox News. "I'm not asking much, but let's take a couple weeks. Let's be thoughtful about this."

Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) ---"Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor. There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs." (Joint paper statement with Johnson on 6/22)

Lee and Johnson are both asking for states to have more flexibility in designing their own health care systems. While they came out against the current version of the bill Thursday, a Lee statement Friday night and a Johnson op-ed published Monday morning had more specific requests.

Still reviewing but has concerns: 4

Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)--- "There are some promising changes to reduce premiums in the individual insurance market, but I continue to have real concerns about the Medicaid policies in this bill, especially those that impact drug treatment at a time when Ohio is facing an opioid epidemic. I look forward to examining this new proposal carefully and reviewing the analysis by the Congressional Budget Office when it is available. If the final legislation is good for Ohio, I will support it. If not, I will oppose it. As this process moves forward, I will continue to work to protect Ohio's interests and ensure that our health care system works better for all Ohioans." (Paper statement on 6/22)

Sen. John McCain (Arizona) -- "I've been talking with the governor (Republican Doug Ducey), and we're having conversations, and we will go through the whole bill together, and we will have time to discuss it and decide. ... Right now the governor's initial impression is that it's not helpful to his state. We're going to continue to have conversations, we're going to listen to the debate, and decide." (To CNN on 6/26)

Sen. Mike Rounds (South Dakota)--- Rounds said there were some "good parts" to the bill but there needs to be more work done on group markets. (To reporters on 6/22)

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia) -- "I'm concerned with the bill in its present form." (To CNN on 6/27)

Still reviewing but had specific demands: 3

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) -- "I don't have enough data in terms of the impact to my state to be able to vote in the affirmative. So I'm trying to get the information ... This is big stuff, and so making sure that we get it right is something that I have said is an imperative." (Interview with CNN on 6/26)

Sen. Cory Gardner (Colorado) ---Told reporters "we need to learn more and get the information and numbers behind it....That's not a no. It's not a yes.-We have to look at the numbers." (To reporters on 6/22)

Sen. Bill Cassidy (Louisiana) -- Cassidy told reporters on 6/26 he was still reviewing the CBO report. Asked if four days was enough time before the vote, he said: "I actually think more time would be better than less."

Still reviewing: 23

Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska) -- "In the coming days, I will read every word of the Better Care Reconciliation Act closely to see if Alaska-specific issues are addressed." (Statement on Twitter on 6/22)

Sen. John Boozman (Arkansas) -- His spokesman told CNN on 6/23 that he's "still reviewing the working draft."

Sen. Tom Cotton (Arkansas) -- His office also told the Times Record on 6/22 that he's reviewing the bill.

Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona) -- A spokesman told CNN on 6/23 he is "genuinely undecided."

Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida) -- Rubio told reporters on 6/26 he was still reviewing the bill and seeking input from constituents and Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Sen. Johnny Isakson (Georgia) -- His spokeswoman told CNN on 6/23 he was "still reviewing."

Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) -- "The Senate discussion draft is available for everyone to review. I'm studying it. I'm looking at the ways it would help Iowans affected by Obamacare's failures." (Statement on 6/22)

Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa) -- "I will be closely examining the bill to see how it will affect insurance availability and affordability in 2018 and beyond." (Statement on 6/22)

Sen. James Risch (Idaho) -- His office told the Idaho Statesman on 6/22 it was too early to comment.

Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho) -- "I will be reviewing the details of the bill closely while the Senate awaits an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office. Today's proposal however is a promising step toward maintaining affordable care." (Statement on 6/22)

Sen. Todd Young (Indiana) -- "I am reviewing the discussion draft and speaking with folks at home" (Statement on Twitter on 6/22)

Sen. Jerry Moran (Kansas) -- "I will fully review this legislation and am awaiting the Congressional Budget Office score to gain a complete understanding of the impacts and consequences this bill would have on hardworking Kansans. If this bill isn't good for Kansas, it isn't good for me." (Statement on 6/22)

Sen. John Kennedy (Louisiana) ---"I think it's a good start, but I want to read it. I'll spend a lot of time on it this weekend." (To reporters on 6/22)

Sen. Thad Cochran (Mississippi) -- His spokesman told CNN on 6/23 he was still reviewing the bill.

Sen. Steve Daines (Montana) -- Daines has said he's waiting to hear from constituents before making a decision. "What Montanans have told me they want to see, first and foremost, is a reduction in premiums, the affordability question. Number two, taking care of those with pre-existing conditions, that they have access to care and affordable care. And number three, very important for Montana is, we are one of the Medicaid expansion states, is that we save Medicaid and protect Medicaid." (Interview on 6/23 with the Billings Gazette)

Sen. Deb Fischer (Nebraska) -- "You know we are establishing the health care bill now, we just received the text of it a day ago, then we are going to review it and the debate will begin on Monday." (Statement on 6/24 in Grand Island, Nebraska)

Sen. Ben Sasse (Nebraska) -- "So this is not a full repeal or full replace piece of legislation, and that's dictated by a whole bunch of circumstances. So we are having a conversation about something that's much smaller than that. This is largely a Medicaid reform package, and I'm about 40% of the way through reading the bill. I got a copy of it Thursday midday. And I'm not finished reading it so I don't have anything to say about the particulars of any vote right now." (Comments on 6/25 during a Q&A in Colorado Springs at the Koch donor conference)

Sen. Thom Tillis (North Carolina)--- "As I've said repeatedly, any replacement plan must be a net improvement over Obamacare, and I look forward to carefully reviewing the draft legislation over the next several days." (Paper statement on 6/22)

Sen. John Hoeven (North Dakota) -- "We will review this legislation to determine whether it meets this standard and we also want to see a CBO score on the bill." (Statement on 6/22)

Sen. James Inhofe (Oklahoma) -- "I am continuing to review the details of the bill text released today and look forward to working with my colleagues in the coming days to address the crisis of Obamacare." (Statement on 6/22)

Sen. James Lankford (Oklahoma) -- "Put me down as a solid undecided." (CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" on 6/22)

Sen. Bob Corker (Tennessee)--- The Senate Foreign Relations Chairman said he's not "happy or unhappy" about the bill and that he's going to take time to read it. (To reporters on 6/22)

Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) -- "I'm going to continue to review this draft. I'm going to see what it costs when the Congressional Budget Office gives its report. Then, I'm going to stay focused on it next week as the bill goes to the Senate floor -- where it will be subject to virtually unlimited amendments -- and my focus will be on how it affects Tennesseans." (Statement on 6/22)

Appears supportive, leaning toward yes: 16

Sen. Richard Shelby (Alabama) -- "I'm going to support this bill. I want to see all the details." (Interview with Bloomberg on 6/22)

Sen. Luther Strange (Alabama) -- "I am encouraged by key provisions in the Senate bill" (Interview on Fox Business on 6/22)

Sen. David Perdue (Georgia) -- "After reviewing the initial working draft, I believe it includes many substantial fixes to our broken health care system...Obviously, this will not be the final bill, but I'm hopeful that we can resolve the remaining disagreements and deliver a consensus bill that is a vast improvement over Obamacare." (Statement on 6/23)

Sen. Pat Roberts (Kansas) -- "This bill is the best path to immediate relief for patients in 2018. This bill is the best possible bill under very difficult circumstances." (Statement on 6/22)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) -- "I'm pleased that we were able to arrive at a draft that incorporates input from so many different Members, who represent so many different constituents, who are facing so many different challenges." (Statement on 6/22)

Sen. Roy Blunt (Missouri) -- "We're going to vote. I'm not sure quite how it plays out. I'm firmly of the belief that there is no reason not to get this done this week, and we will, and I think the CBO score was a little better than I thought it would be." (To reporters on 6/26)

Sen. Roger Wicker (Mississippi) -- "In almost every regard, this draft legislation represents another step to move us away from the unworkable aspects of Obamacare and toward a smaller government approach. If enacted, Americans would be far better off than they are under the failing Obamacare status quo." (Statement on 6/22)

Sen. Richard Burr (North Carolina) -- "This draft legislation outlines a number of initiatives that are good for North Carolina. While not perfect, the bill does provide the funding we need to support our most vulnerable North Carolinians." (Statement on 6/22)

Sen. Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)--- "Senator Toomey leans towards supporting the legislation but he will thoroughly examine the bill before making a final decision." (Statement from spokesperson on 6/23)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)--- "I probably will because I think it's better than Obamacare, which is a disaster." (Interview with Bloomberg published on 6/26)

Sen. Tim Scott (South Carolina) ---"I'm close to yes." (To reporters on 6/22)

Sen. John Thune (South Dakota) -- "The health care discussion draft released today is a big step toward delivering patient-centered, affordable health care for all Americans." (Statement on Twitter on 6/22)

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (Texas) -- Cornyn told CNN on 6/27 it would would be a"mistake" to delay the vote, and he expects a vote will take place this week.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) -- "While this discussion draft will help move the effort forward, I will continue to review this proposal and work with my colleagues to provide better care for all Americans." (Paper statement on 6/22)

Sen. John Barrasso (Wyoming) -- "The bill is not perfect, and because of budget rules it doesn't include every prescription I would have liked. What I do know is that our path is a vast improvement over Obamacare and will finally start to build a health care system that works for many more Americans." (Statement on 6/22)

Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyoming) -- "After months of hard work, Senate Republicans are proposing solutions to address the challenges to health care created by Obamacare that are affecting millions of hardworking families." (Statement on 6/22)

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