Rob Portman

Opponents, Led by Sanders, Mobilize to Fight Health Care Bill
With days before a possible vote in the Senate, activists hit the streets

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a June 2016 rally. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Bernie Sanders will spend his weekend pressuring Republican colleagues in the Senate to vote against the Republican health care bill as Republicans hope to bring it to a vote next week.

That’s one tactic of many that Democrats and aligned groups are using to prevent the bill from clearing the Senate and replacing the 2010 health care law.

The ‘Wait and See’ Caucus vs. the ‘Not Yet’ Quartet
Republicans show wide range of reaction to health care draft

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was one of four Republican senators who said he wouldn’t support the current Senate health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The divisions among Senate Republicans on their health care bill to change the U.S. health insurance system can be summed up as the interests of the “Wait and See” caucus versus the “Not Yet” quartet.

Four members on Thursday, just hours after the text of the draft was posted online, said they are “not yet ready” to vote for the proposal that would make significant changes to the Medicaid program and alter some aspects of the current health care law.

Senate Republicans Raise Questions About Health Care Bill
‘My concern is this doesn’t repeal Obamacare,’ Rand Paul says

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy talks with reporters Thursday after a meeting in the Capitol on the Senate Republicans’ health care draft. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A few key Senate Republicans are already raising concerns with the discussion draft of a health care bill unveiled Thursday, which could threaten its passage if the measure comes up for a vote next week.

Multiple senators raised concerns with the draft they were briefed on Thursday morning, although many said they needed to review the proposal in full. Senate GOP leaders can only lose two Republican votes on the measure for it to pass with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote as no Democrats are expected to vote for the measure. GOP leaders hope to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote next week.

Senate Obamacare Repeal Bill Largely an Entitlement Overhaul
Proposal would maintain key aspects of the 2010 health care law

From left, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso conduct a news conference after the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol last week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A draft of the Senate counterpart legislation to overhaul the U.S. health insurance system unveiled Thursday would make drastic changes to the Medicaid program, but largely retain the existing federal tax credit structure from the 2010 health care law that helps individuals afford insurance, among other provisions. 

The proposal is part of the Republicans’ seven-year effort to gut former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. Senate GOP leadership, which has crafted the bill largely behind closed doors with virtually no public input, has faced difficulty in bridging the gap between moderate and conservative demands.

Rural Areas Brace for Health Care Bill Impact
Senate GOP bill could undermine health insurance coverage

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is concerned her state's residents could lose out on health insurance safeguards. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate historically has paid special attention to the needs of rural areas, but as the chamber readies its health care bill, there are concerns that the bill would undermine coverage in those places more than anywhere else.

While the exact text of the Senate bill is not yet posted publicly, all signs point to somewhat similar language to the House bill (HR 1628), which would reduce funding for Medicaid compared to current law and impose caps on Medicaid funding. Under the House bill, older people also would face higher premiums — and rural areas tend to be home to a large number of older Americans.

Senate Moderates Say They Are Closer on Health Care
Medicaid expansion is still major sticking point

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is happy to be working off of a more concrete proposal on the health care issue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

By Andrew Siddons and Sandhya Raman, CQ Roll Call

Moderate Republicans on Thursday said they were getting closer to supporting an emerging Senate health package but are continuing to press for a slower phaseout of the Medicaid expansion than the House-passed bill set out.

Democrats Wary of GOP Health Care Hedging
Minority party not inclined to let up on criticism

From left, Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, Chris Van Hollenof Maryland and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts kept up their attack on the GOP health care plan Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans are increasingly cautious about handicapping their quest to repeal the 2010 health care law, but their Democratic colleagues have no intention of letting up on criticism of the GOP’s goal of gutting former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

Democrats have been holding near-daily press conferences outlining concerns they have with the legislation that narrowly passed the House last month.

The Real 13 Senators to Watch on Health Care
The moderates, conservatives and Democrats who will influence how the Senate bill gets shaped

By JOE WILLIAMS and RYAN KELLY

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s 13-member health care working group has gotten a lot of attention. But in the Senate, where a minority group of members can effectively stall any legislation from advancing, buy-in from the broader Republican Conference will be necessary for the GOP to succeed in overhauling President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, the 2010 health care law.

The Levin Legacy: Next-Gen Congressional Oversight
Retired Michigan Democrat’s center trains staffers on effective oversight

Former Michigan Sen. Carl Levin built a legacy of tough oversight as chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

More than 100 congressional staffers have now completed boot camps designed to boost the investigative skills of House and Senate staff, thanks in part to the retirement work of former Sen. Carl Levin.

The Michigan Democrat had a particular interest in oversight, wielding the gavel of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations through hearings on topics from the 2008 financial crisis, to oil and gas speculation, to “dirty bomb” vulnerabilities, and issues within the United Nations Development Program.

Republicans Return From Recess Under Health Care Time Crunch
Key decisions on Obamacare repeal bill will need to be made in the coming weeks

From left, Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado, and John Thune of South Dakota, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn conduct a news conference after the Senate policy luncheons in the Capitol on Feb. 28. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican senators return on Monday from a 10-day recess with immediate decisions to make on their quest to overhaul the 2010 health care law.

While Senate leaders have largely avoided putting any artificial timelines on their endeavor, the GOP is under an extreme time crunch to produce and advance their own legislation to match the House bill that narrowly passed the chamber last month.