Just hours before House Republicans were expected to vote on a new health care bill Thursday afternoon, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham expressed concerns over the way the legislation is being handled — signaling the bill may have a rough time in the Senate;
The outspoken senator wrote on Twitter that while he appreciates the “apparent progress” being made on health care reform, his party’s haste has him worried. Graham pointed out that the bill was only finalized on Wednesday and had not received much public debate or a score from the Congressional Budget Office.
The Thursday vote marks a stark change for Republicans, who just six weeks ago canceled a vote on a similar health care bill meant to repeal major chunks of the Affordable Care Act after failing to garner enough support from their members to pass the legislation. Now the GOP has changed the bill to attract support from hardline conservatives and some moderates, and is hoping to push the new version through the House this week.
They are still expected to have a thin margin of support, with all Democrats and some Republicans still saying the legislation is too harsh. Many lawmakers and advocates are also concerned that details of the revamped bill are still unclear. Since the Congressional Budget Office has not yet scored the bill, lawmakers will not know how much it will cost taxpayers, how many people it will leave uninsured, or whether it actually covers pre-existing conditions before voting.
When the CBO scored the Republicans’ first health care attempt back in March, it found the new law would reduce costs by $187 billion over 10 years while leaving 24 million Americans uninsured by 2026.
If the Republicans do get the bill through the House on Thursday, they will be one step closer to their promise of repealing Obamacare. But if Graham’s concerns are any indication, they may have a tough time getting support for the hasty legislation in the Senate.