Republicans are taking a big political risk on health care


Their new stance signals a potential breakthrough for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to corral enough GOP votes to pass an ACA repeal and replace bill, just days after Senate GOP leaders anxious they wouldn't be able to meet the vote threshold.

"Mitch is listening to everybody's concerns and there's a back and forth". The Senate is now working on the House GOP's health care bill, which it hopes to pass this summer.

"I think everybody knows that whatever the Senate gets through, the House is going to have a very hard time changing it". Instead, the bill will go straight to the floor for a vote.

As for the path to 51, Republicans aren't there yet. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) wrote on Twitter on Friday.

While more moderate Republican senators have spoken more favorably of the bill in the past week, objections from conservatives remain a sticking point.

Heller, who is up for re-election next year, also said he opposed language in the House bill that could allow states to loosen any protections for those with pre-existing conditions and opt out of providing the "essential health benefits" required by the 2010 law.

There are also more reports of a revolt taking place among conservative senators as the bill appears to tilt more towards the moderates.

By changing the healthcare bill to win over more moderate members, Senate GOP leaders risk creating a revolt on the right.

In addition to the likely decision to eliminate Medicaid expansion, the Senate version of the AHCA will continue to push for wholesale change of Medicaid from an entitlement program where everyone who qualifies for coverage receives it to a per capita cap system where states are allotted a set amount of money each year with which to provide care to low-income and disabled individuals.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who was vocal about the need to protect people with pre-existing conditions, said this week he thinks the emerging bill passes his test. "Give me an opportunity to work with you", McCaskill said.

"It's very cognizant of pre-existing conditions, which is a good thing", Cassidy said on Tuesday. "I think that's one of the goals I would see".

When asked if he would support keeping Obamacare taxes, Sen.

Still, there are plenty of unexpected disruptions that could occur. The movement has made Republicans increasingly pessimistic that two critical conservative senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, will be able to vote for the GOP's ultimate agreement on health care, according to senators and aides.

The ongoing discussions have conservative groups fretting over what the Senate could actually do, as well as Congress overall with so many conservatives greatly concerned with reworking the landmark legislation.

And the Medicaid negotiations are continuing.