Dean Keller becomes the fifth senator to oppose the Senate’s health bill
On Friday, Dean Heller (NV) became the latest senator to announce his staunch objection to the Senate’s recently released health care bill. In a statement made at a news conference in Las Vegas, Heller said, “I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans.” Nevada was one of many states who opted to expand Medicaid through financial funding; the Senate bill, like the House bill before it, will see huge cuts to the program.
Heller also talked about how the bill’s language does nothing to lower premiums—a pressing concern at the height of debate about the Affordable Care Act—and that the bill, in its current state, is simply not the answer, though he is open to possible negotiations.
The loss of Heller’s support is another blow in Mitch McConnell’s path to seeing the controversial bill passed. From the start, he could only afford to lose the support of two senators to obtain the simple majority, and so far, he has lost five.
In a joint statement released on Thursday, Republican senators Rand Paul (KY), Ted Cruz (TX), Ron Johnson (WI), and Mike Lee (UT) immediately announced their disapproval of the bill, citing various reasons, including but not limited to the rushed process and its perceived leniency on the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have promised to repeal and replace.
The bill is expected to arrive at the Senate floor within the next week.