13 Men, and No Women, Are Writing New G.O.P. Health Bill in Senate

In Healthcare, WOMEN'S ISSUES -- articles only On

WASHINGTON — The 13 Republican senators who are writing a new bill to repeal and replace much of the Affordable Care Act include the top leadership, three committee chairmen and two of the most conservative members of the Senate.

What the group does not include is a woman — and the moderate Republicans who could determine the bill’s fate.

The decision by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, to include himself and his top three lieutenants, as well as Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah — but not Senators Susan Collins of Maine or Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, not to mention the more junior Senators Deb Fischer of Nebraska or Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia — speaks volumes about his direction and has raised eyebrows.

Asked why she was not included in the Senate Republicans’ health care working group, Ms. Collins said on the ABC program “This Week,” “Well, the leaders obviously chose the people they want.”

Republicans, holding 52 seats in the Senate, can afford to lose only two members of their party on a vote to undo the health care law they have assailed for seven years. They will not receive any support from Democratic senators or the Senate’s two independents, but they can count on support from Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie, if needed.

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