If Senate Republicans are unable to pass the new version, it would be their second failed attempt to in recent weeks to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. Cruz confirmed to reporters that his amendment is in the bill and called that "very significant progress".
And while the revised bill's biggest sell might be the $45 billion that would go toward substance abuse treatment, some experts believe the massive cuts to Medicaid would close off other programs that treat drug addiction.
"For those stuck with Obamacare insurance they don't want or can't afford, we don't think they should be forced to buy it any longer", Sen. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to push for a vote next week.
GOP leaders hope to bring the latest version of the legislation to the Senate floor for a vote next week. "I am encouraged by the direction of the bill, and am hopeful the final product will be one that works better for the American people than what is in place today". A nonpartisan government agency has estimated an earlier version of the bill would trim almost US$800 billion in federal spending for Medicaid over 10 years. It's expected to issue its score next week.
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Only two Republican senators could oppose the plan, as Vice President Mike Pence could make a tie-breaking vote if needed. That provision is unsettling to some Senate moderates, like Sen. GOP Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Kentucky's Rand Paul have said they'll vote "no," leaving McConnell no wiggle room. But Democrats say it's still a non-starter and even moderate Republicans in the Senate say they may not be able to vote for this version either.
The new Senate version backed by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and released Thursday bids for conservative support by allowing insurers to sell low-priced, slimmed-down policies and added billions to combat opioid abuse and help cut skyrocketing insurance costs.
Ducey has been working quietly to boost pressure on the senators, with his office releasing a letter to them outlining changes to the Medicaid proposal he is seeking and the state Medicaid agency releasing an analysis highlighting $7.1 billion in funding losses through 2026 under the current proposal.
Achieving that goal has been elusive in the first six months of the new administration, and the bill unveiled Thursday is already under threat of collapse.
States would be provided $70 billion for establishing reforms to drive down premiums.