Senate GOP to huddle Wednesday on ObamaCare repeal strategy
© Greg Nash
Senate Republicans will meet Wednesday to discuss the caucus's strategy for nixing ObamaCare. 
 
A spokesman for Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellValerie Jarrett slams GOP for not including women in healthcare discussions Healthcare wish lists: What moderates, conservatives want Top GOP lawmaker questions tax break for wealthy in healthcare plan MORE confirmed that the Kentucky Republican has convened a caucus meeting, noting it is "another in a series of meetings on Obamacare repeal and replace."
 
But the closed-door session comes amid fresh concerns about whether Senate GOP leadership will ultimately have the votes to repeal the law. 
 
A top Republican leader, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), on Tuesday described a draft plan that leaked late last week as “no longer even a viable draft that we’re working off of.”
 

"2 yrs ago, the GOP Congress voted to repeal Obamacare. That 2015 repeal language should be the floor, the bare minimum," they each tweeted Monday night along with the hashtag "full repeal."

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Paul also blasted out a release on Tuesday morning noting that the three senators "will oppose 'ObamaCare lite.'" 
 
The demand for the 2015 repeal language adds an extra hurdle to repealing the healthcare law. Republicans have a 52-seat majority in the Senate and can only afford to lose two GOP senators. 
 
If Cruz, Paul and Lee vote together, they have the leverage to sink any repeal bill they oppose. But using the 2015 bill to keep their votes could draw pushback from some moderate Senate Republicans, including Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsHealthcare wish lists: What moderates, conservatives want Overnight Healthcare: GOP infighting erupts over bill | How Republican governors could bring down ObamaCare repeal | Schumer asks Trump to meet with Dems GOP infighting erupts over healthcare bill MORE (R-Maine).

No Democrats are expected to vote to repeal ObamaCare.

McConnell reiterated on Tuesday that congressional Republicans must fulfill their pledge to repeal and replace the Obama-era healthcare law. 

"[Americans] voted for a president who listened to them, who promised to repeal and replace ObamaCare. They sent Republicans to the House and Senate who listened to them and promised to replace this partisan law as well," he said from the Senate floor. 

He said he expects President Trump to discuss how lawmakers can overhaul the healthcare law and other Obama-era rules during his speech before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. 
 
"We already know what needs to be done. We need to leave ObamaCare in the past and replace it with commonsense reform so we can bring relief to the middle class," McConnell said. 
 
The division over how to repeal ObamaCare comes after a draft House GOP plan was leaked late last week.
 
The bill would dismantle core aspects of the healthcare law and replace them with a system centered on a new tax credit.
 
But it appears to be all but dead on arrival with top House lawmakers coming out against it. 
 
Scalise, the No. 3 House Republican and chief vote-counter, told reporters on Tuesday that the "draft is not even representative of where we are."

“Well, that draft is no longer valid," the Louisiana Republican said.   

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, also appeared to take a shot at the plan on Twitter, noting that without "substantial" changes he couldn't support it. 

"There is nothing conservative about a plan that ultimately amounts to a new entitlement program and a new tax increase," he said.

The leaked plan would eliminate subsidies for people to obtain coverage and also phase out federal funds for states to expand Medicaid in 2020. It also includes a tax credit ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 that would increase based on a person's age to help recipients afford insurance.
 
The Senate GOP's Wednesday meeting was first reported by Politico.