The Latest: Senate to start ‘from scratch’ on health care


BRANCHBURG, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on health care legislation (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is expressing concerns about the bill passed by the House to replace the nation’s health care law and says she expects the Senate to start over “from scratch.”

Collins is a moderate senator whose vote will be important in the narrowly divided Senate. She says the House bill is hard to assess because it was passed without a fresh Congressional Budget Office analysis of coverage and cost.

Asked if she could support the House version, Collins says: “The House bill is not going to come before us.” She says senators will “come up with a whole new fresh approach.”

Collins cited concerns about potential higher costs to older Americans and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

She spoke on ABC’s “This Week.”

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10:15 a.m.

The White House is disputing the argument by congressional Democrats that House Republicans could face election losses in 2018 due to the health care bill they pushed through last week.

President Donald Trump’s chief of staff says that after the Senate passes its version and the two chambers settle on a final compromise, voters will embrace Republicans for giving them a system with lower premiums, better service and more options.

Reince Priebus (ryns PREE’-bus) tells “Fox News Sunday” that he thinks “the Republican Party will be rewarded” when the health care legislation to replace President Barack Obama’s overhaul becomes law.

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10:10 a.m.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price says cutting nearly $1 trillion from Medicaid would give states freedom to tailor the program to fit their needs.

Price is defending a bill narrowly passed by the House last week to undo parts of the health care law enacted under President Barack Obama.

Price says during appearances on two Sunday talk shows that Medicaid is fundamentally flawed. He says changes would get people the care and coverage that they need.

A proposed $880 billion cut to Medicaid was in an earlier version of the bill and based on a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the measure.

The CBO has yet to release an updated analysis of the latest version of the bill, which faces an uncertain outcome in the Senate.