Sen. Richard Burr: ‘I Don’t See a Comprehensive Health Care Plan This Year’


Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) told WXII 12 News in North Carolina that he believes a health care deal will not pass through the Senate this year.

“It’s unlikely that we will get a health-care deal,” Burr admitted. The North Carolina senator said that the House-passed GOP health plan was “dead on arrival,” and that “I don’t see a comprehensive health care plan this year.”

Burr’s statement arises amidst a complicated pathway for Republicans to pass a health care bill through the Senate. Republicans control 52 seats in the upper chamber and need at least 50 votes and potentially Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie in the Senate. Establishment senators such as Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) remain opposed to the House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA), while conservative senators such as Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Mike Lee (R-UT) want to push for more conservative measures in the Senate bill.

Crafting a bill that satisfies both the moderate and the conservative wings of the Senate has become increasingly complex. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) does not know how to build a Republican consensus on health care reform in the Senate at the moment.

McConnell (R-KY) told Reuters last week, “I don’t know how we get to 50 at the moment.”

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, “The president in general finds it frustrating … how the Senate operates.”

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President Trump tweeted this week that he hopes that the Senate can soon pass a health care overhaul bill. The president also believes that the Senate should switch to a 51 person majority to pass legislation. Switching to a 51 person majority might avoid the complications that arise from using budgetary reconciliation to pass health care and tax reform.

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