by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Some Republican senators are hoping for a quick turnaround of its own version of legislation to repeal Obamacare, but major differences over Medicaid cuts already have become early sticking points.
A commission of 13 senators tasked with drafting their own bill is expected to meet this week, with some Republicans hoping they make quick work of the chamber’s own Obamacare replacement plan. The panel was created last week after the House passed the American Health Care Act by a 217-213 margin. The Senate aims to use some ideas from the House bill.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said Monday the committee has a “sense of urgency” to put legislation together because Americans who use the individual market are facing increasing premiums. The individual market is for people who don’t get their insurance through their employers and includes Obamacare’s exchanges. …
… Other senators were more cautious about putting a timeframe on the task ahead of them.
“This is a process where we shouldn’t have an artificial timeline or artificial deadline to work together to solve the underlying problem, which is how do you make health insurance more affordable across the country,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a member of the panel.
The Senate will be working with a much smaller margin than the House, which could afford 22 GOP defections. The GOP-controlled Senate can afford only two defections.