- Win McNamee
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning to roll out an updated version of the Senate GOP healthcare bill Thursday, according to a new report.
The move comes as leadership hopes the Senate can bring the bill, the Better Care Reconciliation (BCRA), to the floor for a vote by the end of next week, according to Politico’s Burgess Everett, Jennifer Haberkorn, and Josh Dawsey.
A new score from the Congressional Budget Office would be released as soon as Monday under this timeline, the report said.
The legislation faces an uncertain future as conservative and moderate members of the GOP conference took issue with the first iteration of the legislation.
The opposition forced McConnell to delay a planned vote on the bill before the week-long July 4 recess, during which he raised doubts that the bill would ever be passed.
Politico reported that an amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz, which would allow insurers to sell plans that did not comply with two major Obamacare regulations, had not been sent in its entirety to the CBO, complicating its potential addition to the legislation.
Without a full evaluation by the CBO, it is unlikely many GOP lawmakers would get behind the idea.
It’s unclear whether the addition would be enough to get the bill passed, as many Republican members have expressed misgivings about how Cruz’s amendment would impact protections for people with preexisting conditions.
Many members in recent days have openly speculated that the BCRA may never get the support it needs to pass.
Sen. John McCain called the bill “dead” on Sunday, and some Republicans have already talked about working with Democrats on passing a short-term bill to stabilize the individual insurance market.
Other conservative members are pushing instead for a bill that would repeal Obamacare and working on a repeal bill at another time.
This approach is backed by the Trump administration. Vice President Mike Pence told conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh on Monday, “If they can’t pass this carefully crafted repeal and replace bill, we ought to repeal only.”