by Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net
The Senate’s repeal of Obamacare, crafted in secret without public input by 11 senators, is in trouble. Five senators are now saying they cannot support the legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can afford to lose only two GOP members and still prevail. The five are U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Dean Heller of Nevada.
Heller opposes cuts to Medicaid while the other four feel the plan does not go far enough to repeal Obamacare.
Meanwhile, Louisiana Democrats are putting pressure on U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy to oppose the GOP’s repeal and replace plan.
State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson reminds Cassidy that over a month ago he stole the spotlight when he went on the Jimmie Kimmel show and said he would make sure the “Kimmel Test” was followed on any legislation coming out of the Senate.
“Now that we have seen the Senate bill, it’s worse than we thought. It breaks the “Kimmel Test” by allowing insurers to decide to not cover pregnancy.” She added, “Millions will lose coverage and co-pays and deductibles will go up, all to give a huge tax cut to the rich.”
Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards also weighed in on the legislation. Recently, Edwards joined Govs. John Kasich (R-Ohio), Steve Bullock (D-Mont.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Charles Baker (R-Mass.), Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.), and Tom Wolf (D-Pa.) in urging the U.S. Senate to consider a bipartisan approach to health care reform.
About the current Senate bill, Edwards said, “We can all agree that the Affordable Care Act needs improvements in a number of areas. However, an initital review of this legislation raises several red flags for the state of Louisiana. Most notably, it dismantles Medicaid and will leave the 428,000 working poor in Louisiana who are covered under expansion nowhere to turn for coverage.”
Edwards added, “In Fiscal Year 2017, Louisiana has saved an estimated $200 million from expanding Medicaid. In the Fiscal Year that begins on July 1, 2017, the state is expected to save more than $300 million. Without these savings, K-12 education, higher education and health care would be forced to shoulder deep cuts in the state budget.”