Senate GOP health bill seeks to hobble Obama law

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on Senate Republicans’ health care bill (all times eastern):

10:56 a.m.

Senate Republicans have released a 142-page draft of their bill to eliminate much of the Obama health care law.

The measure would cut and revamp Medicaid, the health care program for lower-income and disabled people.

It would repeal tax increases Obama’s law imposed on higher-income people and medical industry companies to pay for expanded coverage. And it would end the tax penalty Obama’s statute imposes on people who don’t buy insurance – in effect, ending the so-called individual mandate.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is hoping to push the measure through the Senate next week. But its fate remains uncertain.

It faces uniform Democratic opposition. And at least a half-dozen Republicans – both conservatives and moderates – have complained about it.

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10:20 a.m.

Senate Republicans are holding a private meeting to hear from leaders about their long-awaited plan for eliminating much of President Barack Obama’s health law.

Lobbyists and congressional aides say the Senate bill would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and rescind tax increases that Obama imposed to help pay for his law’s expansion of coverage.

Republicans plan to make their plan public later Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell developed the bill behind closed doors. The measure represents his attempt to satisfy GOP moderates and conservatives who’ve complained about the measure.

McConnell hopes to push the measure through the Senate next week. But it remains unclear whether he will have enough votes.

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3:50 a.m.

Senate Republican leaders are ready to release their plan for rolling back much of President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Congressional aides and lobbyists say it would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and erase tax increases Obama imposed to help expand coverage.

The Senate’s Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, is unveiling the measure after weeks of closed-door meetings that angered Democrats and some Republicans.

It represents the Kentucky senator’s attempt to quell criticism by party moderates and conservatives and win the support he needs in a vote he hopes to hold next week.

The measure would drop the House’s waivers allowing states to let insurers boost premiums on some people with medical conditions.

The sources are describing the bill on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make the disclosures.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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