McConnell continues to try to salvage GOP health care bill

Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, John Barrasso
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., flanked by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is exploring options for salvaging the battered Republican health care bill, even as he confronts an expanding chorus of GOP detractors.

That is deepening the uncertainty over whether the party can resuscitate its promise to repeal President Barack Obama’s overhaul.

A day after McConnell, short of votes, unexpectedly abandoned plans to whisk the measure through his chamber this week, fresh GOP critics popped forward. Some senators emerged from a party lunch saying potential amendments were beyond cosmetic, with changes to Medicaid and Obama’s consumer-friendly insurance coverage requirements among the items in play.

President Donald Trump says the Republican health care effort is “working along very well” and suggested there could be a “big surprise coming.” The White House did not elaborate on what Trump meant.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump told reporters getting approval of a Senate health care bill will be “very tough.” But he predicted that Republicans will at least “get very close” and may “get it over the line.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on Trump to meet with Republicans and Democrats on the Senate bill. Asked about the request, Trump said Wednesday that Schumer “hasn’t been serious.”

He added: “Obamacare is such a disaster, such a wreck. And he wants to try and save something that’s really hurting a lot of people.”

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