The recently unveiled Senate healthcare bill is running into the kind of opposition that could imperil its passage—and that opposition is coming from Republican senators.
Dean Heller of Nevada, one of the most politically vulnerable Republican senators facing re-election in 2018, announced on Friday that he will not support the Senate GOP healthcare bill in its current form.
“This bill would mean a loss of coverage for millions of Americans, and many Nevadans. I’m telling you right now, I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans,” Heller said on Friday during a press conference.
Heller is the fifth Republican senator to voice opposition, following a joint statement from conservative Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee on Thursday. The statement said that the bill did not “accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only afford to lose two Republican votes and still pass the legislation, although some have questioned how firm the opposition of the Republican dissenters actually is. Heller hedged on Friday, and said that he could not support the bill “in this form” leaving open the possibility that alterations to the bill would earn his backing before the expected vote next week.