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Senators Express Pessimism About Health Care Bill — July, 2017

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published March 31, 2021 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

While some Republicans on Capitol Hill remain pessimistic about the Senate being able to vote the proposed health care bill into law anytime soon, others are pessimistic about its chances of becoming law at all.

Sen. John McCain (R.-AZ.) said on CBS’ Face the Nation July 9 that the proposed bill is “probably going to be dead.”

That sentiment was echoed two days later by fellow senator Charles Grassley (R.-IA.), who said on Fox News that he’s “very pessimistic” that the bill will pass.

Much of that pessimism is rooted in the several Republican senators that remain opposed to the bill. The GOP can only afford to lose two votes and the headcount of holdouts remains more than that.

Dean Heller of Nevada, Susan Collins of Maine and John Hoeven of North Dakota are just a few of the senators that have remained steadfast in their stance against the bill’s proposed cuts to Medicaid.

The bill’s lackluster efforts to combat America’s opioid crisis has kept Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska at bay.

And those measures don’t even account for the additional senators opposed to the bill’s regulations about pre-existing conditions, subsidies for insurance premiums and funding for Planned Parenthood.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. The Senate first must make some necessary changes to the bill in order to sway the several Republican senators that are still in opposition. Then they must hold — and pass — a vote on the measure before Congress leaves for its annual August recess, which was delayed in an effort to make the vote happen sooner than later. Failure to get a deal done before then would push back any further legislation to after the Labor Day holiday, a possibility that drew the subtle ire of President Trump.

White House Remains Optimistic

While some senators expressed their doubts about the bill, those in the White House remain optimistic.

Legislative affairs director Marc Short said on July 10, “We’re confident that it’s going to pass.” The same day, Vice President Mike Pence said “we are close” to getting a deal done. Pence went even further, claiming that the Senate is “within weeks of being able to deliver on that promise.”

To learn more, read our article, What to Know About the Republican Health Care Bill





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Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.

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