>> 22 million, that's how many more Americans would be left without insurance under the Senate's health plan according to a report out Monday. It's just the latest hurdle coming between Senate Republicans and their hopes of scrapping Obamacare. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where the Congressional Budget Office is reporting that the Senate plan is nearly as harsh as the version that passed the House of Representatives last month.
That's more bad news for President Donald Trump and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell who's already having trouble rounding up the votes needed for passage. Moderates like Susan Collins of Maine spooked by this report. They're already concerned that it would leave too many poor people without any sort of safety net whatsoever.
This latest development likely to reinforce their suspicions.>> We should keep working.>> McConnell pushing for a vote this week, but the outlook far from certain. He can't afford to lose more than two votes from his side. But at least six lawmakers saying they can't back it in its current form.
That includes four conservatives who say it doesn't go far enough to undo Obamacare. Many more declining to say whether they'll support it or not. It's not all bad news for Republicans, CBO finding the bill would save the government $321 billion over the next ten years. That's $120 billion more than would be saved by the House version.
Those cost savings largely would come by scaling back Medicaid, the health program for the poor. Republicans tweaking the bill on Monday, unveiling a change that would impose heavier penalties on those who choose to go without insurance coverage. In another blow, the American Medical Association, the country's largest doctor's group, coming out against the bill saying it violates their motto to first do no harm.
So another bad day for the Republican effort to repeal and replace President Obama's Affordable Care Act but don't count Mitch McConnell out. He's one of the craftiest people in Washington. And as the dickering heats up this week he could find a way to scrape together a majority defying Democrats, doctors, and most Americans who give this bill low marks.
The numbers may not be in his favor, but he's got time to turn it around.