The Latest: Senate at bat in dealing with health care law

AP News
Posted: May 08, 2017 4:40 PM
The Latest: Senate at bat in dealing with health care law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on health care legislation (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Now it's the Senate's turn to tackle health care legislation.

And while Senate Republicans are already saying their bill will be different from the House's, the process will probably be just as tense and complicated. A lot of the drama is likely to play out behind closed doors.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has named 12 GOP senators to a group tasked with piecing together a bill that can pass the Senate. The Kentucky Republican has included himself in the mixture of committee chairmen, conservatives and party leaders.

Senate Democrats are expected to solidly oppose the GOP effort to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law.

No one knows when the Senate will produce a bill, though some think senators may be able to do so by July 4.


4:40 a.m.

The contentious debate over overhauling the health care system shifts to the Senate and a moderate Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, says the Senate will not take up the House bill and will instead start from scratch.

Some senators have already voiced displeasure with the health care bill that cleared the House last week. They cite concerns about potential higher costs for older people and those with pre-existing conditions, along with cuts to Medicaid.

President Donald Trump is urging Senate Republicans to "not let the American people down." Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, also says the version that gets to the president will likely differ from the House measure. Such a scenario would force the House and Senate to work together to forge a compromise bill.


11:45 p.m.

A health advocacy group is launching a six-figure advertising campaign this week targeting 24 Republican House members who voted to repeal Barack Obama's health care law.

Save My Care says the campaign will include a mix of TV and digital advertising, costing more than a half million dollars.

Among those being targeted are Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, the moderate Republican who helped revive the bill by authoring an amendment on pre-existing conditions, as well as Dave Brat of Virginia, a conservative Freedom Caucus member.

The group says it will emphasize the lawmakers' support for a House bill that's estimated to reduce coverage for 24 million people over 10 years and let insurance companies charge more for older people.

The campaign will run in congressional districts in 15 states.