Schumer: House ObamaCare repeal bill can’t pass Senate

Keren Carrion
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is warning moderate Republicans in the House that the revised GOP legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare won’t survive the Senate. 
“To my moderate Republican colleagues in the House, I ask, ‘Why would you risk a yes vote for a bill that is devastating to your constituents and has virtually a minuscule chance, virtually no chance of becoming law?’ ” Schumer asked on Wednesday. 
He added that “the reality is TrumpCare cannot pass the Senate.” 
House Republicans are trying to revive a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act after GOP leadership struggled for weeks to find a path forward that could get 216 votes. 
{mosads}GOP leadership also faces a narrow path if the legislation reaches the Senate. Under the rules of “reconciliation,” they can only lose two GOP senators and still pass the bill, because no Democrats are expected to support it. 
But Schumer warned the House legislation only has a “small” chance of survival in the Senate and could run into a procedural buzzsaw because of the Byrd rule, which governs legislation passed under the special budget rules Republicans are using to pass the healthcare legislation. To pass muster, legislation must be primarily focused on addressing the deficit, which is why only provisions that have a budgetary impact can be included.
“The amendment to allow states to drop pre-existing condition requirements, for instance, very possibly violates the Byrd rule. If the moderate group in the House gets an additional amendment to the deal with the very same issue, that may violate the Byrd rule as well,” Schumer said. 
A revised version of the bill — intended to win over the conservative House Freedom Caucus — would allow states to waive certain ObamaCare protections that now prevent insurers from charging people more based on their health. 
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is separately working on an amendment to the House GOP’s ObamaCare replacement bill to protect people with pre-existing conditions
Democrats remain opposed to repealing ObamaCare, instead arguing Republicans should work with them to fix the legislation. 
“Drop repeal and then come talk to us about finding a bipartisan way forward. We are always willing to work in a bipartisan way,” Schumer added on Wednesday.
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