Senate healthcare plan will be released on Thursday

WASHINGTON (AP) –The Latest on Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Obama health care law looks like it will be open to all this week . The Senate version of the American Health Care Act, will be released sometime Thursday. The bill the GOP hopes is acceptable to their voters, but more importantly, for now they need 51 votes to get through the Senate so they can repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. (Obamacare)


3:20 p.m.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the president “clearly wants” Senate Republicans to put forward a health care bill “that has heart.”

Spicer tells reporters during a White House briefing that Donald Trump has “made it clear from the beginning that that was one of his priorities.”

He didn’t elaborate on what the administration meant by “heart.”

Spicer is also blaming Democrats for being left out of negotiations over a Senate bill that could come to vote next week. He says Democrats “made it very clear that they didn’t want to engage in this process” of writing a bill to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The Republican effort to secretly craft a health care bill and push it through the Senate is drawing fire from members of both parties.


2:30 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will have a “discussion draft” of a GOP-only bill scuttling former President Barack Obama’s health care law by Thursday.

McConnell told reporters Tuesday a vote on that bill will be held once the Congressional Budget Office has analyzed the impact of the legislation.

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said the GOP has been talking about repeal and replace for seven years, campaigned on it and now have to act. Thune said “it’s high time we turned the page on this failed Obamacare experiment.”

Republicans have been meeting behind closed doors for weeks trying to resolve their differences over tax credits, expansion of Medicaid, money for Planned Parenthood and other issues.


10:35 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans are getting ready for votes on legislation scuttling former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

His comments Tuesday came amid growing indications that the climactic vote could occur next week.

“The Senate will soon have a chance to turn the page on this failed law,” said the Kentucky Republican. He said GOP senators have had “many productive discussions” on the measure and added, “We have to act, and we are.”

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said GOP senators will be briefed on the emerging bill Wednesday and he expects to see the legislation the next day, about a week before a vote occurs.

Even so, lobbyists said final decisions had yet to be made on some issues.


3:48 a.m.

Democrats don’t have enough votes to stop the still-evolving Senate Republican health care bill. But they’re criticizing it as a stealth measure that GOP leaders want to rush through the chamber before anyone knows what’s really in it.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have none of it. The Kentucky Republican says former President Barack Obama’s health care law has been failing since its 2010 enactment and there’s no reason to wait to erase it. He’s hoping for Senate approval next week.

Democrats held the Senate floor for several hours late Monday and promised to use procedural tactics to slow the Senate’s work, to focus attention on the Republican effort. They say the closed-door, Republicans-only meetings McConnell is using to write the bill is an insult to voters.