Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters Sunday there is no saving the Republicans’ health care bill despite the extra time they have in wake of Sen. John McCain’s emergency eye surgery.
McCain, R-Ariz., had surgery Friday to remove a blood clot over his left eye.
“Time is not the problem in the present health care bill,” Schumer said, according to the New York Daily News. “The problem is the substance. It slashes Medicaid, which has become something that helps middle class New Yorkers and millions of Americans.”
Schumer has led the Democrats’ charge in trying to kill the bill.
“This bill should be scrapped because it hurts middle class Americans too much at the same time that it gives tax breaks to the wealthy,” he said. “Instead, have Democrats and Republicans sit down and work together on improving Obamacare, specifically making premiums lower and health care better.”
Despite growing pessimism, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said in an interview on “Sunday Morning Futures” that more Americans would have insurance under the GOP health bill, compared to the 2010 ObamaCare law they have been working to replace.
“One of the interesting things that's in this bill ... is the opportunity to make certain that those folks that actually fell into a gap below 100 percent of the poverty level, but above where a state might allow individuals on the Medicaid system... this bill provides for coverage for those individuals through the tax credit process," Price said. “That hole was not covered before.”
Price also said that tax credits in the new bill would in part help those who had previously fallen into that coverage gap.
Despite Price’s pep talk, support of the health care bill seemed to diminish even further. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who does not favor the proposed bill, said he did not think Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had enough votes to get the bill through the Senate.
“I don’t think he does” have the votes,” Paul said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “We won four elections on repealing ObamaCare … but this doesn’t.”
Paul has argued that the measure gives too much subsidy money to health insurance companies in the ObamaCare program.
“That is not a Republican idea, to give taxpayer money to a private industry,” Paul, a doctor, said about the bill's so-called “temporary stabilization fund” that is now at about $200 billion.
Republicans had hoped to get a vote to the floor this week, but McCain’s surgery pushed it back.
The Congressional Budget Office also will not release its score of the Senate GOP bill. An earlier report said the last proposal would leave 22 million people without health insurance by 2026.