At least three Republican senators — enough to thwart passage — will announce opposition to the Senate Obamacare replacement plan, according to NBC News‘ Chuck Todd, citing a “solid source.”
It is not clear who those senators are. It also does not guarantee that those lawmakers will remain opposed to the plan as discussions progress and potential amendments are made.
Senate Republicans on Thursday morning released a draft of their secretive Obamacare replacement bill. The plan would repeal Obamacare taxes, restructure subsidies to insurance customers that are based on their incomes, and phase out Medicaid’s expansion program.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, one of the conservatives considered a possible “no” vote on the plan, told NBC News that “it looks like we’re keeping Obamacare and not repealing it.” Asked if he was going to vote “no,” he said to wait for a statement he would release later in the day.
The House was able to win over skeptical lawmakers with last-second amendments to its health-care plan that passed in May. Opposition to the House version appears to be growing. Americans consider the House Republican health-care bill to be a bad idea by a 3-to-1 margin, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Other senators in the GOP’s conservative wing seen as possible defectors are Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. Moderate senators like Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, among others, were also considered potential “no” votes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that a report on the bill’s effects from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is expected next week.
— CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report