By 2 to 1, Americans prefer Obamacare to Republican replacements

Mr. Paul said he does not believe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a fellow Kentucky Republican, has the votes to pass the health care bill as now constituted.

The future of the Republican effort to squash Obamacare hung in the balance Monday with Senator John McCain, whose vote is needed to pass the legislation, recovering from surgery away from Washington. McCain's office said the senator underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot above his left eye on Friday following a routine annual physical at Phoenix's Mayo Clinic Hospital. One major determinant of just how long it will take McCain to recover, and a possible cause for concern, is what caused the clot in the first place, but McCain has not disclosed that information.

Dr. Philip E. Stieg, the chairman of neurological surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and the neurosurgeon in chief at NewYork-Presbyterian, said it seemed a good sign that Mr. McCain was able to go home so quickly. Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of ME and Rand Paul of Kentucky, have said they'll block the vote to start debate on the bill.

McConnell is privately telling senators, per our sources, that they if they vote against the motion to proceed they're effectively arguing that there's nothing wrong with the health care system and the Affordable Care Act markets are just fine.

McCain is in his south-western home state after having a blood clot removed from his left eye, news broadcaster CNN reported.

McConnell had been in a rush to get the bill to a vote, in part because it was thought more time wouldn't help and could hurt the chance for passage. John McCain, Arizona Republican, recovers from surgery.

Even so, some of the holdouts, including John Hoeven of North Dakota and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, said last week that they need to see the CBO report as they weigh whether to support debating the bill in the full Senate.

"I don't think he does" have the votes", Paul said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday". Susan Collins, R-Maine. She has made clear she would vote against the bill, citing proposed cuts to the Medicaid health program for the poor and elderly.

To get out of that Catch-22, Republicans have to convince the rest of the nation that Obamacare is as bad as they say it is and/or that their bill is actually the opposite of what voters think it is. The bill - the majority of which was written behind closed doors - has already been delayed once due to a lack of votes to bring it to the floor. If he loses even one more Senator, then it won't matter if McCain is there or not, but with McCain out of town and apparently a "yes" vote for the revised bill, proceeding without him would be fatal for the bill.

It's expected that by keeping some of the taxes for the wealthy, leadership may have more money to dole out in upcoming days as they try to make a deal.

With Democrats united in opposition, McConnell needs support from at least 50 out of 52 Republicans to pass the measure in the 100-member chamber.

During his speech, Pence acknowledged the concerns that both Democratic and Republican governors have raised about the cuts to Medicaid over time and shifting costs to the states.


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