Political News

Senate punts, then 3 new Republicans oppose health care bill

Posted June 27

Three Republican senators announced their opposition to the current draft of the Senate health care bill Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to delay a vote on the plan until after the July 4 recess.

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, and West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito are the latest Republicans to say that they oppose the bill.

The senators had not explicitly stated their opposition prior to McConnell's decision to delay the bill.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Capito and Portman said they opposed the bill in part because of concerns they have about the affect its Medicaid policies would have on the opioid epidemics in their states.

"For months, I have engaged with my colleagues on solutions that I believe are necessary to ensure that we improve our health care system and better combat this opioid epidemic," Portman's section of the statement read. "Unfortunately, the Senate draft falls short and therefore I cannot support it in its current form."

"As drafted, this bill will not ensure access to affordable health care in West Virginia, does not do enough to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating my state, cuts traditional Medicaid too deeply, and harms rural health care providers," Capito's portion of the statement said.

Moran tweeted that the bill "missed the mark for Kansans and therefore did not have my support."

All three senators remained optimistic in their statements that the Senate will eventually be able to draft a better bill for the people in their states.

In a statement last week, Moran said that he was still reviewing the bill and wanted to see the CBO score before announcing his position. "If this bill isn't good for Kansas, it isn't good for me," he said.

Earlier Tuesday, Capito said she is "concerned with the bill in its present form," but she did not say how she would vote.

Portman said in a statement on June 22 that he had "real concerns about the Medicaid policies in the bill," but wanted to see a CBO score before deciding whether he would support the bill.

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