5th GOP Senator Publicly Opposes Health Care Bill
Dean Heller says it's a 'lie' that Republican bill would lower premiums
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2017 3:33 PM CDT
Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada is the fifth GOP senator to publicly oppose the Republican health care bill, saying it's a "lie" that it would lower premiums.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(Newser) – A fifth GOP senator has come out against the Senate Republicans' health care bill, which can only afford to have two GOP senators vote against it. CNN reports Nevada Sen. Dean Heller says he "simply will not support" the bill, which he says is "not the answer." “I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans,” the Washington Post quotes Heller as saying. He says the idea that the bill would lower health care premiums is a "lie." He's particularly concerned about spending cuts to Medicaid included in the bill. USA Today reports Heller is considered the most vulnerable senator in 2018, as he's the only Republican senator running for re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton.

The other four GOP senators to oppose the health care bill in its current form—Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee—essentially did so from a more conservative position, arguing it doesn't go far enough in repealing the ACA. In addition to those four and Heller, USA Today identifies four other Republican senators to keep an eye on. Rob Portman and Shelley Moore Capito are concerned cuts to Medicaid would hurt the fight against opioid addiction by limiting low-income people's access to addiction treatment. Meanwhile Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are opposed to the bill cutting Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood for a year.

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