GOP Health Care Bill May Face Final Reckoning In Senate Next Week

The Senate health care reform bill remains on precarious ground after Republican leaders released the revised text of the legislation Thursday, dangling just one “no” vote from defeat as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY., scrambles to win over the few remaining undecided moderates.

The new bill includes a provision proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would allow insurance companies to sell more basic and affordable plans on the individual markets as long as they offer at least one that conforms to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The updated Better Care Reconciliation Act includes several other revisions aimed at winning the support of both conservative and moderate senators who resisted the original version of the bill, which was introduced last month but never brought to the Senate floor for a vote.

“They’re really recognizing the constraints of passing legislation through budget reconciliation,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.

It also puts them up against an inescapable deadline. O’Connell noted that the Senate can only pass one reconciliation bill per budget year, and Republicans will almost certainly need to devote one to tax reform next year. If they cannot pass a health care bill before the end of this fiscal year, then, they could lose the opportunity.

Read more from Stephen Loiaconi at WJLA

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