Reporter: Rather than answering questions about their health care bill, many Republicans are running away
ANDREA MICHELL (HOST): Senate Republicans finally unveiling their draft of the bill to deliver on their long held promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. The proposal largely mirrors the House bill including deep cuts to Medicaid, big tax credits for the wealthy. So far, reaction from Democrats has been swift and fierce with only one week to go until a vote, they say. Democrats are turning up the pressure hoping to peel away those three Republicans they need to defeat the bill.
This is it. You now have it as well, we’re talking about something that we’ve just gotten from the Senate Republicans. Kasie, first to you, already we’re seeing very strong reaction back and forth. How do they explain how they can have a vote next week when the Congressional Budget Office accounting of how much it would cost and whom it would help, who it would hurt, who would lose their insurance, all of that won’t even come before next week.
KASIE HUNT: Honestly, Andrea, we’re still having a hard time getting people to answer our questions. I’ve had more Republican senators run the other way from the cameras than towards us to talk to us about this health care bill. And quite frankly, the people we have talked to have been skeptical. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas who could generally be considered a reliable vote with Mitch McConnell and others who have been working on writing this bill said it is the best possible vote, but under very difficult circumstances. There’s nobody out here selling this bill this a real way, and I just spoke to Sen. Rand Paul who said that this doesn’t feel like it repeals Obamacare. So, that is a warning shot from one conservative at least at this point. He says that there is go to be a joint statement coming out in about an hour from himself and some others. We’re not sure who they are. Of course, it might make sense that it would be people like Sen.Ted Cruz, Sen. Mike Lee, two of the other conservatives who have expressed concern about this, but I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here because we don’t have that 100 percent nailed down yet. But obviously, if the three of them had problems with it and it was to the point where they said they couldn’t support what they have now seen in public, that would mean that Mitch McConnell would not have enough votes to pass this bill. Again, we’re just trying to kind of gather reaction here, we’re still getting a lot of people saying, “hey, I’m going to go back to my office and read this thing.” But there is enough in it that there is concern. I want to try and track down Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to ask them about the Planned Parenthood provisions. It looks like this does defund Planned Parenthood, that is something they had previously said might be a nonstarter. So, again, just trying to gather reaction initially here in these first hours after this has been released, but so far I would say there are more skeptics and more potential problems than there is praise. [Andrea Mitchell Reports, 6/22/2017]