Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who is up for reelection in 2018, announced Friday that he is opposed to the Senate GOP’s healthcare bill in its current form, becoming the fifth GOP senator to do so since the bill was released on Thursday.
“I’m announcing today that in this form I will not support it,” Heller said in a press conference held in his home state.
“I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes away insurance from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans.”
Heller said it’s a “lie” that the Senate GOP’s healthcare bill would lower premiums. “There isn’t anything in this bill that would lower premiums,” Heller said.
Appearing alongside Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), Heller raised concerns about the bill’s phaseout of the Medicaid expansion.
“It’s going to be very difficult to get me to a yes,” Heller said.
“You have to protect Medicaid expansion states. That’s what I want,” he added.
Nevada, like most states, expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Heller joins GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Ted Cruz (Texas) in opposing the current bill. Those four conservative senators announced their opposition on Thursday, the day GOP leaders unveiled a draft of the healthcare plan.
The GOP can only afford two defections in order to pass the bill. A vote is expected next week.