A seven-year push by Republicans to dismantle Obamacare and kill the taxes it imposes on the wealthy reached a critical juncture on Thursday when Senate Republican leaders unveiled a draft bill they aim to put to a vote, possibly as early as next week. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) A seven-year push by U.S. Republicans to dismantle Obamacare and kill the taxes it imposed on the wealthy reached a critical juncture on Thursday when Senate Republican leaders unveiled a draft bill they aim to put to a vote, possibly as early as next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his lieutenants have worked in secret for weeks on the bill, which is expected to curb Obamacare's expanded Medicaid help for the poor and reshape subsidies to low-income people for private insurance. Some of the Senate bill's provisions could be political land mines, with individual senators' reactions crucial to determining whether or not the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, survives a Republican attack that has been underway since its passage in 2010. Former Democratic President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement has been a target of Republican wrath for years. But even with control of the White House and both chambers of Congress since January, the party has struggled to make good on its bold campaign promises to repeal and replace Obamacare. The law is credited with expanding health insurance to millions of Americans. Republicans say it costs too much and involves the federal government too much in healthcare. President Donald Trump made Obamacare repeal a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign. Trump has urged the Republican-led Senate to pass a more "generous" bill than the one approved by the House. He privately described that version as "mean," according to congressional sources. Democrats accuse Republicans of sabotaging Obamacare, and say the Republican bill will make healthcare unaffordable for poorer Americans while cutting taxes for the wealthy.