The Latest: Health care groups oppose GOP bill

The Latest on the Republican push on health care (all times local):

9:35 p.m.

The nation's doctors, hospitals and health insurance plans are unified in their opposition to the latest Republican bill to dismantle Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.

In a joint statement on Saturday, major groups such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, America's Health Insurance Plans and the BlueCross BlueShield Association called on the Senate to reject the bill sponsored by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy.

The groups say, "Health care is too important to get wrong."

They warn that under the bill patients and consumers will lose important protections and those with significant illnesses will be charged higher premiums and may not be able to buy coverage.

They also say the cuts to Medicaid would cause millions of Americans to lose their coverage — and the changes would weaken individual insurance markets, making coverage more costly.


3:05 p.m.

Sen. Bill Cassidy will defend the Republican "Obamacare" repeal bill before a Senate panel on Monday. The Senate Finance Committee hearing is being held even though the measure's prospects are dim.

The Louisiana Republican sponsored the legislation with South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Republican Sen. John McCain said Friday he'll oppose the bill in a Senate showdown this week. That means there will almost certainly be enough GOP opposition to sink it.

Sen. Rick Santorum, a former GOP presidential contender, will also appear. He helped round up support for the proposal.

Democratic witnesses will include Cindy Mann, a former Obama administration health official.

The GOP bill would abolish much of President Barack Obama's 2010 health care overhaul and shift money and decision-making to the states.


8:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is holding out hope that a last-ditch effort to overhaul the Obama-era health law isn't over.

He's taken to Twitter to try to sway GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — who's said he'll oppose the latest Republican bill because it doesn't abolish enough of the Affordable Care Act.

Here's what Trump's tweeted about Paul: "I think he may find a way to get there for the good of the Party!"

Trump's comments come a day after Sen. John McCain announced he wouldn't back the proposal. And his "no" vote has meant a likely death blow to the bill.

McCain also was the critical "no" vote against a previous attempt to overhaul the law in July.

Trump also is lashing out at Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, saying that people in her state are "angry" about the current health law. Murkowski hasn't committed on the bill.


8:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is attacking Sen. John McCain over the Arizona Republican's opposition to the latest effort to overhaul the nation's health law.

Trump tweets: "John McCain never had any intention of voting for this Bill, which his Governor loves. He campaigned on Repeal & Replace. Let Arizona down!"

McCain says he can't support a last-ditch push to overhaul the Obama-era health law.

The latest legislation is being co-sponsored by McCain's close friend, Sen. Lindsay Graham.

Trump says the bill would be "great for Arizona" and he says McCain "let his best friend L.G. down!"


12:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is calling Sen. John McCain's opposition to the latest GOP effort to pass a health care bill "sad" and "a horrible, horrible thing for the Republican Party."

McCain says he isn't voting in favor of the bill sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Graham is McCain's best friend in the Senate, but McCain says he can't support the bill in good conscience.

McCain says he believes lawmakers could do better if Republicans and Democrats work together on a replacement for President Barack Obama's health care law.

His opposition may well kill the Graham-Cassidy bill.

With McCain and Sen. Rand Paul against it, Republicans can't afford any other defections from their ranks.