GOP senators now oppose health care bill as written

But, like the House version, the Senate's bill also aims to phase out the portion of Obamacare that provides federal funding for states to expand medicaid.

Heller, who faces re-election in 2018 in the Democratic-leaning state, said on Friday: "I can not support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans".

Sandoval's presence at Heller's side was significant, because the highly popular governor is one of the Republicans who led their states to accept Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act.

Heller joined four conservative senators who came out against the bill Thursday, albeit for far different reasons, including that the Medicaid cuts aren't large enough, proving that McConnell's path to 50 is complicated. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said in a statement Thursday afternoon. The GOP holds a 52-48 advantage over Democrats in the Senate, with Vice President Pence standing ready to break ties in the GOP's favor. Starting 8 years from now, in 2025, the Senate bill switches its measure of inflation - from how rapidly medical costs are rising, to how rapidly overall costs in the economy are rising.

"It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else".

Trump publicly celebrated the House bill's passage, only to criticize it in private as "mean". "And we'll see if we can take care of that", Trump said in an interview with Fox News that aired on Friday, calling the group of conservative lawmakers "four very good people". But the federal money drops so deeply in 2024 that it's unlikely many states would keep Medicaid expansion. We live in a time of unconscionable economic inequality, and what this bill proposes is, "What if it could be worse?"

"Page by page, this Republican plan forces Americans to pay more for less, less comprehensive health care coverage", said Sen.

Nevada's Heller becomes 5th GOP senator opposed to health bill
Democrats immediately attacked the legislation as a callous giveaway to the rich that would leave millions without coverage. But unlike the House version of the legislation, it's not called the American Health Care Act .

President Donald Trump, who vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare during his campaign, praised the Senate's bill, but noted changes were likely. It is health care rationing, forcing many to pay more for less coverage and limiting Medicaid spending in ways that are even crueler than the House bill envisions.

Asked about the bill's impact on Medicaid insurance coverage for lower-income Iowans, Ernst said, "I wouldn't say they are losing it".

In a visit to his home state Capitol Friday, Pennsylvania's senior US Senator Bob Casey called the bill "obscene".

Gov. Christie's spokesman has said he will not comment on this pending health care legislation, that the process of finalizing a bill is a long one. "I will oppose it coming to the floor in its current form, but I remain open to negotiations". Its flat tax credits, which provided identical assistance to the poor and the wealthy, would price millions of near-elderly low-income workers out of the insurance market and trap millions more in poverty.

He said the bill would also jeopardize addiction treatment programs for people with opioid addictions.

The president, who said he wanted the Senate bill to have more heart, predicted eventual success. Referring to Republican senators opposed to the bill, he added: "They want to get some points, I think they'll get some points".