United States Senator Deb Fischer defended the process underway in the Senate on health care legislation during her weekly conference call with Nebraska reporters.
Fischer was asked whether the postponement of the vote on the health care bill calls into question the ability of Senate Republicans to pass a bill.
“I hope not,” Fischer replied. “You know the postponement was obviously that we still have work to do to try and bring this together.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky had wanted a vote taken on his proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act this week. As support for the bill eroded among Republicans, he delayed consideration of the legislation.
No Senate Democrats support repeal of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic legislation, leaving McConnell with a very narrow margin in the Senate. Some Republican senators backed away from the bill after the Congressional Budget Office forecast that while the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $321 billion over the next year, it would leave 22 million Americans without health insurance.
Fischer says differences among Republican senators have emerged on how best to deal with Medicaid. Some states expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Others, such as Nebraska, did not. She says the diversity among the states has been a hang-up to reaching consensus.
Fischer says she is willing to stay in Washington through the Independence Day holiday and through the August recess, but says it is hard to discern when the bill might hit the Senate floor for debate and a vote.
“It’s very fluid right now. It would be really hard for me to give any kind of indication.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]