Senate republicans may 'repeal and replace later' if GOP bill doesn't get support

Posted at 7:17 AM, Jul 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-03 07:23:16-04

Republican Senators are debating over the GOP healthcare bill that would replace the Affordable Health Care Act if passed. There wasn't enough support to vote on the bill Friday, June 30th, so it was pushed until after the July 4th recess. But another option is now on the table - repeal now, and replace later.

"If we can do a combined repeal and replace over the next week that's great. if we can't though, there's no reason to walk away. we should do a repeal with a delay," said Ben Sasse, Republican senator from Nebraska.

Senate democrats say the GOP bill would devastate folks that rely on Medicaid, and the affordable care act protections when it comes to pre-existing conditions. 

Senator Bill Nelson is meeting with folks in Tampa he says are, "the hardest hit". Nelson says if the bill were to pass it would take coverage away from 22 million people and cut Medicaid by $772 billion. And if it's not passed, democrats say even more people could lose coverage.

"I have a lot of respect for Senator Sasse but that idea is an absurd idea" said Bernie Sanders, Democratic senator from Vermont. "The [Congressional budget office] indicated that if you simply repeal the Affordable Care Act, you will throw 30 million Americans off health insurance."

The bill needs support from 50 of the 52 republican members of the Senate to pass. Two versions of the bill are being considered - the first pushes to reduce costs by giving state more control and the second wants to strengthen health care subsides. The bill also focuses on fighting the opioid crisis.