Major health care groups united in opposition to GOP bill

WASHINGTON — The nation’s doctors, hospitals and health insurance plans are unified in their opposition to the latest Republican bill to dismantle former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. 

In a joint statement on Saturday, major groups such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the BlueCross BlueShield Association called on the Senate to reject the bill sponsored by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy.

The groups say, “Health care is too important to get wrong.” 

They warn that under the bill patients and consumers will lose important protections and those with significant illnesses will be charged higher premiums and may not be able to buy coverage.

They also say the cuts to Medicaid would cause millions of Americans to lose their coverage – and the changes would weaken individual insurance markets, making coverage more costly. 

President Trump lashed out Saturday against Arizona Sen. John McCain, who said Friday that he couldn’t support this bill. On Twitter, Mr. Trump wrote that “Democrats are laughingly saying that McCain had a “moment of courage.”

 At a campaign rally Friday night for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange, Mr. Trump said it is going to be “a little tougher” to pass the bill without McCain.

“We might have to go back again, and again,” the president said, comparing the health care fight to a wrestling match where only the strong continue to rise up and keep swinging.

“You can’t quit when you have one or two votes short,” he said.

Mr. Trump also criticized Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who said he will not vote for the bill, and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who voted against the health care bill in July but has not given a definitive answer yet on this bill.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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