SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Senate Republicans released a 142-page draft of their bill to eliminate much of the Obama health care law today. However, it is facing uniform Democratic opposition. Along with Democratic opposition – at least a half-dozen Republicans – both conservatives and moderates – have complained about it. The measure would cut and revamp Medicaid, the health care program for lower income and disabled people. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says cuts to Medicaid in the U.S. Senate Republicans’ health care bill may be the sole opportunity to reduce the federal deficit in Congress. The Republican governor on Thursday said cutting Medicaid funding for low-income Americans could offer savings the government needs. Daugaard says the Medicaid provision likely wouldn’t impact the “most frail” populations that are receiving coverage. He says everyone wants to provide care for people who need help, but at the same time “we don’t want to end up becoming like Greece.” The governor didn’t express support or opposition to the bill Thursday.
Meanwhile, South Dakota’s Congressional delegation say the bill is a starting point. Republican Senator Mike Rounds believes they’re moving in the right direction.
Republican Senator John Thune agrees. He says under Obamacare, Americans are facing higher premiums, higher deductibles and fewer choices.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hopes to push the measure through the Senate next week. But, its fate remains uncertain.