New GOP health plan seeks conservative support

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. walk on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 13, 2017, for a meeting on the revised Republican health care bill which has been under attack from within the party. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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