The Latest: Nevada governor still concerned by health bill

The Latest on the Republican effort to replace the Obama health care law (all times local):

Continue Reading Below

10 p.m.

A Republican governor is expressing "great concern" over the new Senate health care bill.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval says the measure hasn't changed that much and that he remains concerned it would phase out financing for the Medicaid expansion that's helped Nevada residents.

The criticism comes after Senate Republican leaders unveiled their latest effort to repeal so-called Obamacare.

The reworked bill aims to win over conservatives by letting insurers sell low-cost, skimpy policies. At the same time, it's designed to placate moderates by adding billions to combat opioid abuse and help consumers with skyrocketing insurance costs.

Continue Reading Below

Still, two senators, moderate Susan Collins of Maine and conservative Rand Paul of Kentucky, say they aren't supporting the bill.

A vote has been scheduled for next week.


9 p.m.

Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval says the new Senate health care bill hasn't changed much. His reaction: "great concern."

Sandoval spoke Thursday in Providence, R.I., where the nation's governors are holding their annual summer meeting.

He said his principal concern remains that the GOP bill would phase out financing for the Medicaid expansion passed under former President Barack Obama. It's providing coverage to an estimated 11 million people nationally, mainly low-income adults. Thirty-one states including Nevada are covering more of their residents.

Sandoval said: "They're living healthier and happier lives as a result of their receiving coverage. And for them to lose that ... would be very hurtful for them."

Sandoval is planning to speak to Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller, considered the most endangered Senate Republican in next year's midterm elections.


5:30 p.m.

A provision in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's rewritten health care bill appears to benefit only one state: Alaska. That's the home state of one Republican McConnell is wooing for support.

The language would give states with extremely high premiums an added cut from multibillion dollar funds created by the legislation to help insurers curb consumers' coverage costs.

Analysts at the consulting firm Avalare Health estimate it would mean $150 million for Alaska in 2018, $230 million in 2019 and additional amounts afterward.

McConnell needs support from all but two of the 52 GOP senators to pass the bill. Two have already expressed opposition. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is among several saying they're undecided.

Other states might qualify for money if they experience premiums 75 percent above the national average.


4:30 p.m.

Groups concerned about the opioid epidemic say $45 billion in state grants for addiction treatment don't make up for cuts to Medicaid in a new version of the Senate Republican health care bill.

The Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose and 465 other organizations said Thursday in a letter to Congress they cannot support the revised bill.

The letter says capping federal funding for Medicaid and phasing out the Medicaid expansion would make it harder for people to get addiction treatment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a retooled bill Thursday. The earlier version included $2 billion for states battling the opioid crisis. More money was demanded by Republicans from states in the Midwest and Northeast that have been ravaged by the drugs.


12:10 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has released a revamped Republican health care bill, and it seeks out conservative support by letting insurers sell low-premium policies with skimpy coverage.

The bill is aimed at repealing much of President Barack Obama's health law. But the GOP plan remains in deep jeopardy because of divisions within the party.

It's unclear whether the measure will survive a showdown vote next week.

The revised legislation includes added money for states to help insurers curb consumers' increasing premiums and out of pocket costs. And it has $45 billion to help states combat drug abuse.

But McConnell is retaining his plan to cut Medicaid, the health care program for the poor. GOP moderates have fought to ease those reductions.


9:50 a.m.

In a bid for conservative support for his flailing health legislation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will include an amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in a reworked bill being released Thursday.

That's according to two Senate GOP aides who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the bill's release. Exact details were not immediately clear.

Cruz has been working with Sen. Mike Lee of Utah on a measure that would allow insurers to sell skimpier health care plans.

But Lee's office says Lee has not seen the new Cruz amendment — and until he does, won't commit to voting next week to proceeding to debate on the health bill.

Despite pressure from President Donald Trump, that could kill the bill before debate even begins.

—AP Congressional Correspondent Erica Werner.


3:30 a.m.

Senate Republican leaders are trotting out their new health care bill. And they're pushing toward a showdown vote next week amid indications that they have lots of work ahead to win over GOP lawmakers or face a resounding failure.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell planned to present the revamped measure rolling back much of President Barack Obama's health care law to GOP senators Thursday.

Democrats uniformly oppose the effort, so McConnell needs the votes of 50 of the 52 GOP senators to prevail.

But conservative Sen. Rand Paul says he's a "no" and Maine moderate Susan Collins seems all but certain to be opposed. Other Republicans are threatening to vote against it if their demands are not met, leaving party leaders struggling to preserve one of their highest-profile priorities.