By Elise Viebeck, The Washington Post
WASHINGTON – Republican critics of the Senate’s latest version of health-care legislation were energized after leaders postponed votes on the measure, yet another sign the bill’s fortunes are in limbo.
A vocal conservative opponent of the measure, Sen. Rand Paul, predicted the delay would strengthen critics’ position by giving them more time to mobilize against the bill.
“The longer the bill is out there, the more conservative Republicans are going to discover it is not repeal,” Paul, R-Ky., said Sunday in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Paul said he spoke with President Donald Trump on Friday and suggested the president support repealing the Affordable Care Act and deciding the details of a replacement plan later if the latest version of the bill does not pass.
Trump did not comment on health care over the weekend, even as his party faced new challenges in trying to advance their latest bill. Trump made no reference to health care Sunday in an angry morning tweetstorm about Hillary Clinton, the Russia controversy and other topics.
The lack of response from Trump came after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced Saturday he is recovering from a surgery and would be absent from votes, depriving Republicans of the support they need to advance the legislation. The development temporarily dashed McConnell’s hopes of wrapping up the health-care debate by passing a reworked version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act this week.
The White House also was largely silent about health care over the weekend. “We wish Senator McCain a speedy recovery,” Helen Ferré, White House director of media…
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