The American Health Care Act passed the House on May 4th, and Trump has promised the American people that it will equally slide through the Senate.
However, the Senate Republicans seem less confident than the House and President Trump, reports The Washington Post. Some feel that the bill needs major overhauls, and until those changes happen, no vote will occur.
What Motivates the Republican Hold-Out?
Simple, Republicans want to be re-elected to the Senate.
The Senate Republicans that are up for re-election in 2018 know that their healthcare bill is the cornerstone of re-election. If they were to pass the bill as it stands now, they are likely to anger Republican voters and get replaced with Democratic senators – which spells big trouble for the house majorities.
House Republicans already face angered constituents in town hall meetings about the bill that they passed, and the Senate doing the same would be detrimental – especially when voters are paying close attention to the outcome of the case.
Secondly, the GOP does not have a substantial margin in the Senate like they do in the House. Right now, there is a 52-48 advantage in the Senate, which is quickly derailed by Senate Republicans refusing to back the latest healthcare bill.
What Are Republicans Planning to Do?
Senate Republicans are not silent on the issue. In fact, they have been speaking out about the bill and their plans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell states that he was proud of the House for passing such a bill, and now the Senate would do their job.
Most senators report that they will make the necessary changes to the bill to ensure it is favorable to everyone in the United States – addressing the blaring issues of pre-existing conditions and the risks of thousands losing coverage.
Republicans Exclude Women from the Health Care Group
The health care discussions in the Senate featured 13 men and not a single women. CNN reports that the Senate Republicans are now taking heat for having no women on the team, despite the fact that there are several female Republicans who have been very actively involved in the health care legislation since its start – and are key votes needed to pass the bill.
Women in the Senate are not taking offense. Instead, they promise to work on the bill just like their fellow senators to ensure it is something that pleases the public.
Health Care Taxes Slowing the Process
One roadblock the Senate has found is the issue of taxes. They are unsure if they should repeal all taxes imposed by the Obamacare plans or create their separate tax bill. The health care taxes are receiving mixed reviews on the Senate floor. Some say that the taxes harm the economy, while others feel they are necessary to provide the country with much-needed revenue for the health care programs.
For now, the House version eliminates the taxes affecting insurers, medical device companies, and individuals who earn over $200,000 per year. There is also a surcharge for top earners on Medicare, and if all the House suggested tax repeals occur, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that it would cost the country $999 billion over the next ten years, says Bloomberg.
Republicans Vow to Preserve Coverage
For Americans worried that they might lose coverage, most Republicans who have spoken out on the newest healthcare bill state that they would not take coverage away from those who have it, nor exclude those with pre-existing conditions from having coverage. Instead, they hope to repair a broken system and make it great once again.