Heller says GOP Healthcare Bill is a Lie, Will Vote Against It
Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, considered the most vulnerable Republican senator in 2018, says the Republican healthcare bill’s claims that it lower premiums is a “lie.”
He came out strongly against the healthcare bill saying it does not take care of Americans with pre-existing condition as GOP leaders have claimed it does.
Heller announced during a joint press conference with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval (R) a few minutes ago that he would withhold his support for the bill unless significant changes are made.
“There isn’t anything in this piece of legislation that lowers premiums,” Heller said calling any claim to the contrary a “lie.”
Saying the legislation does not take care of people with pre-existing conditions, he harshly criticized provisions in the bill that allow states to drop Affordable Care Act rules mandating insurance companies to cover a minimum set of health benefits.
He said he is particularly interested in the Medicaid expansion and the $900 billion planned cut to the nation’s largest and most successful health program included in the Republican healthcare bill.
“It’s simply not the answer and in this form, I will not support it,” Heller said adding that “It’s going to be very difficult to get me to a yes. They have a lot of work to do.”
Explaining his reasons for rejecting the bill in it’s current form, Heller said he is worried it will lead to loss of coverage for may of his constituents.
“This bill would mean a loss of coverage for millions of Americans and many Nevadans,” Heller told the media.
“I’m telling you right now, I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans.”
To pass the healthcare bill, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell cannot afford to lose more than two senators from his caucus.
So far, five senators including Ted Cruz (Tx.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) have indicated that they may not support the bill.
Moderate GOP Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also indicated that there is a possibility she may vote against the bill unless the leadership can come up with additional changes.
Heller’s full-throated criticism of the GOP healthcare bill aka Trumpcare is by far the strongest voice so far and expert says his strong opposition may be the leverage other senators may need to also voice their opposition to the bill.
“Other Senators from states that chose to expand Medicaid like Lisa Murkoski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (Wv.) and Bill Cassidy (La.) may also be leaning against the new bill for the same reason that Heller rejected it,” a Democratic leader told us moments ago.
Following Heller’s announcement, a pro-Trump group, America First Policies announced they will be launching major TV, Radio and digital advertisement buys against him.
The group however, declined to say if it intends to back a challenger against the Nevada Senator in 2018.
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