Senate GOP invites female senator to healthcare group after criticism

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Senate Republican leaders invited Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) Tuesday to participate in a meeting of a special working group on healthcare reform after being criticized for not initially including a woman in the 13-member group.

It’s not clear whether Capito will join the group permanently.

Capito told reporters she had been invited to Tuesday’s session but wasn’t certain whether she would be a full-time member.

“I don’t know,” she said, when asked about her status going forward.

“We’re going to be talking about Medicaid; that’s the issue I’m concerned about,” Capito, whose state accepted ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, added.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has put the group together to forge legislation to repeal and replace parts of ObamaCare.

{mosads}It includes members of his leadership team such as Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.); key committee chairmen, such as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah); and influential conservatives and moderates such as Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The group, however, did not initially include a woman, stirring controversy in the media and criticism from Democrats because the House healthcare bill passed last week includes a number of provisions affecting women’s health, such as language defunding Planned Parenthood for a year.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has voiced concerns about efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and has sponsored an alternative bill to repeal ObamaCare in states that opt to, says she will continue to work on healthcare issues separately from the group.

Tags John Cornyn John Thune Mitch McConnell Orrin Hatch Rob Portman Shelley Moore Capito Susan Collins Ted Cruz

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