Police drag health bill protesters from McConnell's office

Police remove a woman from a protest in front of the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill, on June 22, 2017. The Republicans' bill would limit federal funds going toward Medicaid starting in 2020.

Democrats have vowed to fight the bill, and Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy described it as "a monstrosity". Heller similarly will have to rely on national party support to help him win in Nevada, where former Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid helped build an extensive political infrastructure.

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He outlined the GOP plan that would cut Medicaid, slash taxes and waive the requirement that Americans purchase health insurance. In a decade leading Senate Republicans, McConnell has displayed his legislative skills time and again.

This is the tragic state of American politics and health - people so desperate to preserve their healthcare that they are willing to be degraded and dragged from the Capitol in order to make a point.

If the bill passes, then it's back to the House. A vote would occur next week after budget analysts assess the package.

For McConnell, 75, whose reputation as a legislative tactician has grown to near legendary proportions, the health care bill may be the biggest test of all. The majority of Medicaid spending goes toward covering the care costs of people who are disabled, elderly, and poor. It would erase taxes on higher earners and the medical industry that helped Obama's law expand coverage by roughly 20 million Americans.

Yet it faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.

But Heller faces the most hard reelection next year of any Republican and his state's governor, Brian Sandoval, is extremely popular and remains a staunch supporter of the current funding structure for Medicaid's expansion that led to almost 300,000 of his residents to get health coverage. The measure represents his attempt to satisfy GOP moderates and conservatives who've complained about the measure. The bill was met with backlash from Democrats for limiting funding for opioid abuse treatment centers, defunding Planned Parenthood for one year, and stopping the expansion of Medicaid. But it remains unclear whether he will have enough votes.

Vanessa Coleman

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