Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the new Republican healthcare proposal "even meaner" than a previous version thanks to a provision that would allow health insurers to sell plans without adhering to all of Obamacare's mandates.
Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats will not support the GOP plan because of provisions reducing the growth of Medicaid and changes that would raise premiums for older Americans.
"It appears little has changed at the core of the bill," Schumer said on the Senate floor. "The Republican Trumpcare bill still slashes Medicaid. The cuts are every bit as draconian as the previous version."
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., praised the GOP's revised bill moments before Schumer criticized it. In a floor speech, McConnell said the legislation eliminates onerous Obamacare regulations, protects the poor who need coverage and allows states to reform Medicaid.
"It aims to make insurance more affordable and more flexible, so it's something Americans actually want to buy," McConnell said. "It strengthens Medicaid for those who need it most."
McConnell told Democrats if they want to change the bill, they should vote next week to open debate on the bill, a procedural hurdle that requires 51 votes and as of now, is not guaranteed to pass thanks to potential GOP opposition.
"If Democrats would like to offer those ideas, then let's open debate on the underlying legislation so they can do that," McConnell said.
But Schumer pledged to oppose the motion to begin debate and warned Republicans who vote for it at that stage would mean they supported the bill in its current form.
"My Republican friends should not be tempted by the promise of amendments to fix this bill," Schumer said.
President Trump last month told lawmakers in a White House meeting that the House-passed health care bill was "mean" and asked them to make it more generous.