ST. GEORGE – Sen. Mike Lee, R- Utah, announced Monday that he will not be supporting the Senate GOP’s health care bill.
Officially titled the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” Lee joined Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, in voicing opposition to the latest version of the health care bill.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) July 18, 2017
“After conferring with trusted experts regarding the latest version of the Consumer Freedom Amendment, I have decided I cannot support the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act,” Lee said in a statement Monday.
Last week Lee said over Twitter that he was withholding judgment until he reviewed the bill in more detail. Particularly, he spoke to a part of the bill that was reportedly based on a provision he helped Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, create.
The provision would allow insurance companies to offer cheaper, bare-bones policies as long as they met strict coverage requirements that have been set under the ACA. Moderate Republicans have worried that this would cause premiums for people with pre-existing conditions to spike.
The current version of the Senate GOP health care bill also seeks to add $45 billion toward fighting opioid drug abuse and an additional $70 million toward stabilizing rising insurance premium costs.
The bill would also seek to phase out federal money being sent to states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the ACA, while also potentially limiting the program’s overall future growth.
Remaining in place would be taxes placed on those making over $250,000 or more.
“In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations,” Lee said in his statement.
With Senate Democrats dead set against the bill, and Sens. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, previously stating they would not vote for it, it’s put the bill’s future in question.
While the Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate, they need 50 votes to pass the legislation. With Lee and Moran now opposing the current version of the bill, it could die in the Senate.
“Let me say at the outset that this bill isn’t perfect,” Sen. Orrin Hatch – who supports the bill – said last week, adding he would have done some things “very differently” if he had the chance.
“… One thing I’ve learned in my 40 years in the Senate is that, people who demand purity and perfection when it comes to legislation usually end up disappointed and rarely accomplish anything productive,” Hatch said. “That’s particularly true when we’re talking about complex policy matters.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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