Bill Cassidy: Senate healthcare bill will address the needs of families

Sen. Bill Cassidy believes the Senate version of healthcare reform will address the needs of American families far more than the House bill that passed the lower chamber earlier this year.

Cassidy, R-La., joined the chorus of voices saying the Senate bill would minimize the problems with the House bill recently passed while still living up to Republicans' promises of replacing Obamacare.

"The Senate will have its own product," Cassidy said on Fox News Sunday. "We will go to conference. But I think the Senate part, I'm hopeful, will be more likely to address [American families'] needs."

Cassidy is pushing his bill that he co-wrote with Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a fellow Republican, in the upper chamber.

When pressed by host Chris Wallace if the bill would retain key Obamacare features like taxes and auto-enrollment, Cassidy said, "It is the conservative solution. The conservatives think the power should return to individuals and states. We do that. The power that Obamacare took from states we get back."

"Have you gotten any buy-in, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee? And what are the chances, honestly, that the Senate won't pass anything, that this healthcare reform is going to die?" Wallace asked.

Cassidy said he couldn't speak for those senators, but added, "Of all the plans out there, we are the one that has the most support."

Many in the Senate said they were unlikely to work with the House ‘repeal and replace' bill, which garnered a White House celebration on May 4. But, the chances the Senate would take up the American Health Care Act may have dropped even further in the wake of a new Congressional Budget Office analysis that projected the House bill would increase the number of uninsured Americans by 23 million by 2026, relative to Obamacare.

Appearing alongside Cassidy was Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who said, "As long as we take repeal off the table there are a lot of Democrats who want to bring a chair to the table. I'm one of them."

"I don't agree with many aspects of their plan but it's a good faith effort to do two things. Reduce the cost and expand the reach. That should be our national goal."

Cassidy was specific that he thought his bill could garner bipartisan support, floating a hypothetical figure of, "25 Democrats and 40 Republicans" to pass his bill.

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