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GOP Senators Hint at Tearing Up Health Bill, Starting From Scratch

Senators Turn to Health Care Bill and They Have Issues House Republicans passed their health care bill at a whirlwind pace, pushing it through as soon as they had enough votes lined up without holding hearings on its impact or waiting for a report on how much it will cost. An indication of the trepidation in the Senate was clear when President Donald Trump said at a Rose Garden gathering with House GOP members after their bill passed that the Senate was "eager" to get to work on the legislation — some House members actually laughed out loud. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) criticized his House counterparts for rushing forward without waiting for a Congressional Budget Office analysis or giving members a chance to add amendments or even time to examine the bill's text, which was only finalized on Wednesday evening. It's possible some of the most important items that the House Freedom Caucus negotiated, including allowing states to opt out of Essential Health Benefits and protections for pre-existing conditions, will run afoul of rules requiring reconciliation bills to stick to items that concern the budget and not regulations. It would allow states to either keep the current law's framework or opt into a new program that automatically enrolled people in a catastrophic insurance plan paid for with tax credits.

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