The CBO coverage estimates pose yet another problem for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who unveiled the legislation last Thursday. He can afford to lose just two GOP votes and still pass the legislation, because Democrats are in lockstep against it. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, joined other Senate Democrats for a press conference highlighting people from their districts who would be negatively impacted by the health care law. "But I also think we may not know if we have the votes to pass it until we bring it up", said No. 3 GOP Senate leader John Thune of South Dakota. All four said last week they'd oppose the bill without changes, as did Heller.
President Trump, meanwhile, summoned all 52 GOP senators to a White House meeting Tuesday afternoon in hopes of determining the way forward.
Several GOP senators said they wanted to see their bill cover more people than the House version.
Others want more time to review the draft plan, while a pair of centrists said the bill is too harsh on Medicaid and would result in too many people falling off the insurance rolls. That could be a particular concern to moderate Sen.
The bill would repeal a tax on wealthy investors, saving them about $172 billion over the next decade.
Diplomat notes possible exodus of Russia's envoy to USA not spur-of-the-moment move
Sessions then recused himself from the investigation into Russia's alleged interference during the 2016 USA presidential campaign. A new report states that the controversial Russian ambassador to the United States is about to head home.
McConnell is struggling to appease two factions in his party.
On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office "scored" - or estimated the cost - of the bill. It would impose a 30 percent surcharge on premiums for people who have gone without insurance.
Currently, the federal government pays at least 90 percent of the costs for newly eligible beneficiaries in the 31 states that expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act.
Those hardest hit would be lower income Americans and the elderly, the office said. The cloture vote ends all discussion on the bill and moves the legislation to one final vote on the Senate floor.
Insurers are already withdrawing from some markets under current law. Rural America was a stronghold for Trump in the presidential election.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer chided Senate Republicans after McConnell's announcement Tuesday but acknowledged they are determined to prevail. Under that proposal, if they then buy insurance, they would face a six-month delay before it takes effect.