Portman Awaits CBO Report on Senate Health Care Bill

Portman tweet asking for public comment on health care bill
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The new health care bill introduced in the US Senate Thursday can’t afford to lose more than two Republican votes in order to pass.  No Democrats are expected to support it. 

Ohio Senator Rob Portman has not said whether he will join his party colleagues in voting for the bill.  “If the final legislation is good for Ohio, I will support it.  If not, I will oppose it.”  That’s the statement issued by Senator Portman Thursday afternoon following the release of the Senate’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act.”

One provision of the bill is a phase down of Medicaid expansion by the year 2024.  In a written statement, Portman said he has “real concerns” about the bill’s Medicaid policies and their impact on treatment for opioid addiction.

On Twitter, Portman posted the full text of the Senate bill and invited comment.  More than 900 replies had come in – many of them negative -- by the time he issued his statement. 

From Britni Ross – “I think you can fight the opioid epidemic or you can vote yes, but you can’t do both.”

And from Laura Lewis – “Work together, work openly – for your constituents” -- a reference to the drafting of the Senate bill by Republicans behind closed doors. 

The Congressional Budget Office is expected next week to provide an estimate of the bill’s impact on individuals and the federal budget.  Portman said he looks forward to reviewing the CBO’s analysis.

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