Senate Republicans are moving forward with a plan to rewrite and repeal Obamacare without replacing it with a government-run system that includes universal coverage.
The Senate Finance Committee approved the proposal Wednesday morning.
The legislation would essentially replace the Affordable Care Act with a new, smaller government-provided health insurance system.
The plan would be a step in the right direction in the Senate, but it would not go far enough.
The Affordable Care Board, the government-led agency tasked with developing the new system, would have the final say on how to roll it out.
The bill is expected to face intense scrutiny in the Republican-controlled House.
Sen. John Thune John Randolph ThuneOvernight Energy: Kavanaugh nomination to move ahead despite Senate Judiciary push | New details emerge on Kavanaugh allegations | Overnight Health Care: Senators weigh in on Trump health-care bill | Biden to unveil 2018 strategy on opioids | FDA launches anti-pill campaign for young women | GOP Senate health bill clears House | Senate vote on Kavanaugh delay MORE (R-S.D.) has expressed concerns about the plan, saying the GOP would have to accept a “Medicare-for-All” system.
Thune said he will oppose the legislation.
Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch Orrin Grant HatchGOP opens door to holding Kavanaugh committee vote on Capitol grounds Senate Dems urge Senate to delay Kavanaugh confirmation MORE (Utah) told reporters the GOP plan was still in the early stages.
Hatch said he did not believe it would pass the Senate.
Democrats have been pressing Republicans to make the changes in the bill, arguing it would leave too many people uninsured and put a strain on the federal budget.
The House is expected on Thursday to vote on the measure.
Senate Democrats also say they have concerns with the bill’s approach to expanding coverage, noting that it would cover about two-thirds of the nation’s population but leaves about 15 million people uninsured.
Sen.(Maine) said Tuesday that the Senate bill is not the solution he would have liked to see in a health care bill.
“I think the bill does not do what we want it to do,” he said.
“And I don’t think the Republican caucus has come to an agreement on that.
I think it’s a very dangerous proposal.”
Hatch added that if Republicans do not address the issues raised by his constituents, they could be in trouble.
“I do think it is not going to be the best bill in the world.
But I do think we have to address some of the issues that have been raised by the majority of the American people,” he told reporters.
Democrats say they will try to force the Senate to debate the measure during the next few weeks before voting on the legislation, but they believe it could be a longshot.
“The reality is we have a very long way to go,” Rep. Peter Welch Peter William WelchGOP lawmakers plan to push for full-fledged healthcare bill despite Democrats’ objectionsHouse Dems push for more oversight on opioids bill | GOP’s ‘Medicaid for All’: The GOP’s strategy on healthcare optionsHouse Dems unveil their ‘Medicamass’ plan | Senate Democrats urge Senate GOP to delay vote on ‘Medicarathon’ legislationSenate Democrats ask Senate to wait for vote on bill on opioids and opioid overdose prevention bill | House Dems push GOP to postpone vote on opioids legislation