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Senate Health Bill Would Cut Insurance for 22 Million Americans — Many of Them Low-Income

Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Twenty-two million Americans would lose health insurance if the United States Senate passes its proposed healthcare law, for which it could hold a vote as early as this week, according to an official, nonpartisan government estimate.

The Congressional Budget Office announced today that the proposed bill would result in 22 million Americans losing insurance by 2026, but as many as 15 million would be uninsured by next year if the bill passes, according to The New York Times

The version of the bill that passed the House of Representatives would have cut insurance for about 23 million, an estimate that sparked outrage when it was released earlier this year. President Donald Trump called the House bill "mean."

Read More: 23 Million People Could Lose Health Care Under House-Approved Bill

Still, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who led weeks of secret meetings during which a small group of Republicans crafted the bill, said he intends to bring the bill to a vote in the Senate quickly. The bill would cut the federal deficit by more than $320 billion over 10 years, a reduction that will likely bolster Republican support for the bill. 

Five Senators have said they would not vote for the bill in its current form, and Republicans can only afford to lose two votes in order to still pass the legislation. Republicans have said they would like to pass healthcare reform — a longstanding campaign promise to "repeal and replace Obamacare" — before moving onto their next legislative priority, tax reform. 

Read More: Critics Slam Trump Administration’s Budget Proposal for Being 'Cruel' Toward the Poor

The American Health Care Act would replace President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act. It would reverse Obama's expansion of Medicaid, the federal insurance program that helps low-income Americans pay for medical care. 

Earlier this year, Trump said he was in favor of health care "for all" and said that "everybody's got to be covered," but has since said he supports the Republican efforts.