- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas’ two Republican senators split over a plan for overhauling health care that the GOP abruptly shelved Tuesday.

Sen. Jerry Moran said he was pleased by the postponement of the Senate’s debate on the bill until at least next month. Moran said the measure “missed the mark for Kansans” and he did not support it.

“Now is the time to take a step back and put the full legislative process to work,” Moran said in a statement. “I remain committed to working with my colleagues and continuing conversations with patients and providers in Kansas.”

But Sen. Pat Roberts said the measure would have stabilized the private insurance markets and protected states like Kansas that did not expand their Medicaid health coverage for the poor under the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Roberts called for passing legislation “as soon as possible.”

“I am certainly open to further improvements in the bill, but Kansas fared well under this draft,” Roberts said in a statement.

Both senators issued their statements after U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a debate would not occur until at least next month. Roberts’ comments came after President Donald Trump met with GOP senators.

The GOP bill would roll back much of former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, long a goal of Republicans.

But a congressional analysis said Monday that 22 million more people would be uninsured by 2026 under the GOP plan. McConnell announced a debate would be delayed after at least five of the 52 GOP senators, not including Moran, said they could not support it.


Follow John Hanna on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apjdhanna .

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