Female senators will be included in health group

Some female senators have concerns about defunding the organization, whether or not they are in favor of abortion.

"The working group that counts is all 52 of us", McConnell told reporters, referring to all 52 Republican senators in the 100-member chamber. Earlier Tuesday, McConnell fended off criticism of the group's membership, saying all 52 GOP senators were shaping the legislation.

Barely two days into crafting a new bill to roll back Obamacare, U.S. Senate Republicans were already on the defensive on Tuesday over the absence of any women in their core working group. Democrats have criticized Republicans for excluding women from the group. We would invite Democratic women.

"That's really up to the leadership", Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME have already said they'd prefer to keep funding the women's health care provider. He went on to ask, "What are we celebrating?" "If we have to make modifications in order to pass it, we'll make those modifications and work out the differences with the House". Patty Murray, D-Wash., the No. 3 Senate Democratic leader.

The senators met to discuss divisions among Republicans on Medicaid cuts, their first session since the House squeaked its health care bill through on a 217-213 vote. Her state is among the 31 that has accepted additional money to expand Medicaid under Obama's law.

Cornyn said senators would start with the House bill. Some have criticized that measure's cuts in the Medicaid program for poor and disabled people, the federal subsidies that would leave many consumers with higher out-of-pocket costs and the estimated 24 million people who'd lose coverage. The working group in question was one of several looking at health care, but McConnell himself was a member along with other Senate leaders. Some Republicans eye drafting a similar Senate bill by mid-summer, possibly with the involvement of Democrats.

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White House spokesman Sean Spicer distanced the Trump administration from the group's membership. "I spent five years in state government overseeing the Bureau of Insurance many years ago, and I think I can bring some experience to the debate that will be helpful".

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the House bill "is so discriminatory against women". But under the House's health care bill, states would be able to opt out of the community rating protection, which would allow insurers to base premiums based on a person's medical history.

Taking the provision out could alienate the Senate's conservatives who viewed the House's funding repeal as a major victory and are now feeling pressure from outside religious groups to keep the defund in the Senate's version of the bill.

One of the Senate's most moderate Republicans, Collins, 64, has at times been a problem for party leaders, such as opposing a cutoff of federal payments to Planned Parenthood. "It doesn't mean that I'm not going to work on health care", the Maine senator told reporters.

About 965,000 Missourians get health care coverage through the state's Medicaid program, called MO HealthNet.

She said she'd spent 15 minutes at Tuesday's Senate GOP lunch describing a high-risk pool ME uses to help cover costs for people with serious diseases who are expensive to treat.

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