Cruz Joins Opposition to Republican Health Care Bill

'Right now, they don't have my vote'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2017 2:48 PM CDT
Cruz: GOP Health Care Bill Doesn't 'Have My Vote'
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leaves the closed classified briefing for members of the Senate on North Korea and South Asia strategy, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The GOP's path to passing its most recent attempt to repeal ObamaCare continued to get narrower—perhaps closing altogether—on Sunday. “Right now, they don’t have my vote,” Politico quotes Sen. Ted Cruz as saying during a panel discussion Sunday. “And I don’t think they have Mike Lee’s vote, either.” The GOP can only afford two senators to break rank and vote against the Graham-Cassidy bill. Senators Rand Paul and John McCain already announced their opposition to it this week. And earlier Sunday, Sen. Susan Collins said it would be "very difficult" to see herself voting for the bill. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who voted against the last attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is still undecided, according to CNN.

Though the future looks bleak for Graham-Cassidy, its sponsors believe they can still get enough votes to pass it. Cruz says he's still working with GOP leaders to include more "consumer freedom" in the bill so he can support it. "I want to get there because I think ObamaCare is a disaster," he says. And Paul said Sunday he may support the bill in the unlikely event it doesn't replace Medicaid expansion and ObamaCare subsidies with block grants—a central feature of the bill. Senate Republicans have until Sept. 30 to be able to pass the bill with just 51 votes; after that they would likely need 60, Vox reports. But Cruz calls that a "bogus deadline." The Graham-Cassidy bill is opposed by Democrats, the insurance industry, the hospital industry, and major medical professional organizations. (Read more health care stories.)

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