By Phil Glass Phil GlassA number of Republicans are refusing to participate in a health care bill that President Donald Trump has vowed to sign.
The latest example comes from Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who is facing an onslaught of attacks from conservatives who have criticized his opposition to the House bill.
Toomey’s position on the bill has shifted repeatedly, but in the past few weeks he has finally admitted to wanting to move ahead with the health care measure, though he hasn’t formally said so publicly.
ToOMEY said on Monday that he has yet to make up his mind on the Senate GOP health care plan and that he still expects it to pass the Senate and be signed into law.
Toomes statement came as he held a press conference to announce he was introducing a bill to provide states with $1 trillion to help pay for the new health care system.
The new legislation, to be called the AHCA, would repeal much of Obamacare and replace it with a single, unified health care policy.
Toomeys stance has been widely criticized as being a sign that he is still not sure how to proceed.
The Republican senator also took aim at other Republicans who have said they would oppose the bill, saying, “We are a party of reconciliation and I am confident that if the House is willing to move forward with the AHC, the Senate will move forward, and if the Senate is not willing to, then the House will move on.
The Republican Party of 2018 will not fail us.
We have a choice to make.
We can either fight to keep Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act or we can unite behind the president’s health care reform.”
Toomeys statement is likely to put pressure on other GOP senators to support the bill.
Bill Cassidy (LA), Dean Heller (NV), Bill Cassidy and Lisa Murkowski (AK) have all come out against the AHBC, and Sens.
Lisa Murkowks (AK), Susan Collins (ME), Ron Johnson (WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (WV) have also come out in opposition.
Toomas statement is unlikely to be enough to sway the other Republican senators, but the pressure from conservatives will continue to mount.
Sen. John Thune (R, SD), who has been a vocal opponent of the AHCC, has also been pushing to change the bill’s language so that states will be able to opt out of its provisions.
Toomays comments come after another Republican senator, Senator Lisa Murky, came out in support of the bill on Sunday.
The bill will allow states to opt into the AHAC and not be required to expand Medicaid, something that has been criticized by conservatives as one of the main drivers of the health insurance market’s collapse in recent years.
The bill would also allow states and federal agencies to negotiate their own health insurance contracts.