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McConnell: ‘I Don’t Know How We Get To 50’ Votes On AHCA

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky hinted Wednesday that House Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace Obamacare could to get shot down in the Senate.

I don’t know how we get to 50 [votes] at the moment,” McConnell told Reuters in an exclusive interview Wednesday. The Senate majority leader still said that the “goal” is to get to 50 votes, but he isn’t quite sure how the votes will pan out.

The Senate is currently reviewing the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which members of the House passed early May.

Senate conservatives want an immediate rollback of the federal money granted to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion program under the rationale that serious cuts would force states to make prudent decisions regarding how they choose to spend Medicare funds.

Some 20 Republican senators are in states that chose to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, and many are concerned about the number of Medicaid recipients who would lose coverage under the AHCA.

If Republican lawmakers push for any more cuts to Medicaid funding, moderate senators are signaling that it could mean the end of the line for the AHCA.

“As soon as you move further that direction, you’re going to lose about six or eight people. So I don’t see how that works,” Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia told reporters.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Wednesday that he recognizes Republicans will face blow back if they fail to repeal and replace Obamacare. (RELATED: Ryan: ‘I Accept’ GOP ‘Will Get Hit’ For Failing To Repeal Obamacare)

“I accept that we will get hit for this. We’re in leadership, we don’t have a choice, we’re a majority,” Ryan said at an Axios event in downtown Washington, D.C., Wednesday. “I just don’t think from a moral standpoint that’s something we can do. We have to intervene to fix this problem because real people are actually getting hurt.”

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