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Key GOP senator: Revised Senate healthcare bill expected Monday

The Hill logo The Hill 7/10/2017 Alexander Bolton
Key GOP senator: Revised Senate healthcare bill expected Monday © Provided by The Hill Key GOP senator: Revised Senate healthcare bill expected Monday

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who has played a central role in negotiating the Senate healthcare reform bill, says a new version of the legislation is expected to be unveiled Monday.

The revised bill gives Senate GOP leaders a second chance to round up 50 votes to repeal and replace major parts of ObamaCare, after their first attempt stalled before the July 4th recess because of divisions within the Republican conference.

"We've got a new version that comes out today. We'll get new scores from CBO. And there's a shot of getting to 50 [votes]. Mike Pence breaks the tie," Toomey, who sits on a special 13-member working group that helped put the legislation together, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" in an interview Monday morning.

A score from the Congressional Budget Office is expected later this week, setting up a vote on the measure next week.

President Trump urged congressional leaders Monday to cancel the August recess if they don't pass the healthcare bill by the end of July.

"I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!" Trump tweeted.

Toomey said leaders reworked the bill to appeal to moderates and conservatives who earlier this month blocked the healthcare debate from starting because of disparate concerns over regulatory reforms and Medicaid spending reductions.

Toomey said "there's an opportunity" to win over "both."

"We're going to get the specifics of a $45 billion commitment for opioid funding," he said of extra funding in the bill that is a high priority of moderates such as Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

"There's also a big push to have a change in the regulatory mandates, so that we can have the lower premiums that we're looking for," he added. "People can have more control and more choices that will appeal to the conservatives."

Conservative Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have threatened to vote against the bill unless it allows insurance companies to sell health plans that do not comply with ObamaCare's regulatory requirements as long as they offer at least one plan that does.

Critics say the Cruz-Lee Consumer Freedom amendment would segment the market, leading to healthier people flocking to cheap unregulated plans and sending the costs of plans that meet federal requirements soaring.

Cruz and Lee, however, say there is enough money in the legislation to stabilize costs for older and sicker people.

"There's also a big push to have a change in the regulatory mandates, so that we can have the lower premiums that we're looking for. People can have more control and more choices that will appeal to the conservatives," he said.

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