>> Obama care has been hurtling towards collapse for years.>> Crunch time in the Senate as Republicans consider several options to salvage their deeply troubled healthcare bill.>> Kill this bill!>> I'm Andy Solomon in Washington where Republicans are facing a big headache after their July 4th break.
Their Obamacare replacement losing support. The bill would scale back taxes on the wealthy and cut Medicaid, leaving 22 million more Americans without coverage. Right now, Republicans simply don't have the 50 votes they need to get the bill passed so changes are coming. Let's take a look at four ways in which the bill could be reworked over the coming weeks.
Scenario number one. Scale it Back. Under this option, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell could keep much of the health plan he proposed, but rein it in, leaving some of Obama Care's taxes on the wealthy in place, and easing up on the proposed cuts. Saving the government less money, but potentially keeping more people insured.
That could win over moderates like Rob Portman of Ohio, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia would anger conservatives like Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. Scenario number 2, Deregulate. Cruz and Lee want to allow cheaper insurance plans with bare-bones coverage as an alternative to existing Obamacare plans.
These low cost plans would not be required to cover options such as mental health or maternity care. And they could charge higher. Higher premiums for customers who have chronic health problems. Opponents say that that would leave existing Obamacare Plans with too many sick customers, sending markets into a tail spin.
Scenario three, repeal now, replace later. President Donald Trump has been pitching this idea, as straight repeal of Obama Care, which would take effect a year or two down the road. That would give Republicans more time to come up with a replacement, but that extended period of uncertainty could send insurance markets into chaos.
And if all else fails, there's scenario four, the unthinkable working with Democrats to improve Obamacare. McConnell has warned his party that he my have to go this route if they can't agree on a replacement. And other Republicans like Lindsay Graham and John McCain have Said that this is actually a likely outcome at this point.
This would allow Republican's to move past what is quickly becoming a toxic issue for them. Fewer than one in four American's support their repeal and replace effort. But it would be a clear sign that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay which is something many Republicans would have a hard time accepting.
These are some of the options on McConnell's desk. We don't know at this point which of them stands the best chance of winning out, but we could find out as soon as this week.