Tom Price Says Senate Obamacare Repeal Bill Will Likely Come This Summer

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Friday that the Senate will likely vote on Obamacare repeal legislation sometime this summer.

Republicans in the upper chamber are currently working on rewriting the House legislation, which passed May 4. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell formed a 13-person health-care working group earlier this month tasked with hammering out the details of the legislation.

“Leader McConnell is absolutely committed to getting a bill out of the Senate, and we will continue to work with the Leader and all the other senators who are interested, as I say, in working toward a positive, productive outcome,” Price told radio host Hugh Hewitt Friday. “And I do, I believe the Senate will produce a bill this summer.”

Price noted there is still a lot of work to be done before the bill text is released, but believes the Senate will vote on the legislation before their August recess.

The House struggled to come to a consensus on their version of the bill, with leadership pulling the measure from the floor in March due to a lack of consensus. After the addition of several amendments — including a provision allowing states to opt out of the community rating system and a number of Obamacare’s Title I regulations — it passed by a narrow margin in the lower chamber.

It’s unlikely the Senate will have an easier time coming together on a measure that meets the requirements of the reconciliation process, which allows the bill to pass with just a simple majority in the upper chamber.

A GOP source described the meetings on the repeal bill as “an airing of grievances,” with Medicaid expansion remaining a sticking point between the difference factions of the party.

Senate GOP staffers said they are waiting on the updated CBO report on the revised House bill, which will provide them insight on how to best rework the bill. A Republican aide told The Daily Caller News Foundation conservatives are considering pushing for language allowing states to opt into Obamacare regulations rather than out of them in the revised legislation.

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