The Latest: Nevada’s Heller opposes GOP health bill

The Latest on the Senate GOP health care bill (all times EDT):

8:45 p.m.

Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller says he opposes the GOP bill scuttling much of the Obama health care law, complicating the effort by party leaders to guide the measure through the Senate.

Heller is the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition.

He faces a difficult re-election fight next year. He said Friday he would vote against the bill in its current form but did not rule out supporting a revamped, final version of it.

The Senate measure would make major cuts in the Medicaid program for poor and disabled people.

Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must get yes votes from 50 of the 52 GOP senators to avoid a defeat.

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5:20 p.m.

A health insurance industry trade group says it’s encouraged by provisions of the Senate GOP health care bill, but stopped short of voicing support.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association represents plans that are the backbone of HealthCare.gov and state health insurance markets created under former President Barack Obama’s law.

The group said in a statement Friday it’s encouraged that the Senate bill would take immediate action to stabilize shaky insurance markets by guaranteeing billions of dollars in subsidies under jeopardy due to a legal dispute and political maneuvering. The subsidies help reduce deductibles and copayments for people with modest incomes.

The Senate bill would make the payments through 2019, but then cut them off.

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5:05 p.m.

A Republican senator up for re-election next year just got some bad news about the Senate GOP health care bill.

Sen. Jeff Flake’s home state of Arizona could lose at least $7.1 billion through 2026 under the Senate proposal to roll back former President Barack Obama’s health care law. The estimate was released Friday by Arizona’s Medicaid agency, which analyzed the effects of the legislation on the state health insurance program for…

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