The Latest: Sen. Cruz says he’s against GOP health bill

The Latest on the Republican push on health care (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz says he’s against the Republican bill that would erase much of President Barack Obama’s health law.

If the Texas Republican sticks to that stand, GOP leaders will have little hope that their 11th-hour Senate push will survive.

Cruz spokesman Phil Novack says the senator said Sunday in Austin, Texas, that “right now, they don’t have my vote.”

The bill would lose if three GOP senators vote “no” in a showdown this week.

Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Kentucky’s Rand Paul say they oppose the bill. GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said Sunday it’s “very difficult” to think she’d vote “yes.”

Cruz says he doesn’t think Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee supports the measure. A Lee aide did not immediately answer a request for comment.


11:10 a.m.

A White House adviser insists the Republican health care bill would protect people with pre-existing conditions.

That’s despite the fact the bill would loosen the rules under the Obama health law — by giving states waivers that would let insurers charge more, or tailor benefits to discourage people with costly conditions from signing up.

White House legislative director Marc Short says Republicans plan a Senate vote, probably Wednesday, on the latest and last-ditch effort to undo the Affordable Care Act.

Short was interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and said — four separate times — the bill protects people with pre-existing conditions.


10:25 a.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina still thinks there’s a path forward for a last-ditch effort to end “Obamacare,” even after his friend, Sen. John McCain, said he opposes the bill.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Graham says Republicans are “moving forward” with a bill he co-sponsored with Illinois Sen. Bill Cassidy to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate and can only afford to lose two votes.

Graham mentioned Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul has said he’s a “no” and Collins said on CNN Sunday she finds it “very difficult” to see herself backing the bill.


10:15 a.m.

The White House legislative director insists the latest bill to repeal former President Barack Obama’s health care law is “not dead.”

Marc Short acknowledges the last-ditch GOP bill remains short of the needed votes. But Short says the White House is continuing its effort to win over…

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