- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The latest on U.S Rob Portman and the Senate’s GOP health care bill (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has announced his opposition to the current Senate health care bill after days of political pummeling that ended with the vote delayed.

The Ohio Republican issued a statement Tuesday after the Senate delayed its vote and after he had been subjected to baseball game flyovers, demonstrations and other pressures to oppose the bill.

Portman says he continues to have concerns about the Medicaid policies in the bill. He specifically pointed to those that impact drug treatment at a time when Ohio is facing an opioid epidemic.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to bring the bill to a vote before the July 4th recess. He said Tuesday afternoon he would delay a vote while GOP leadership works toward getting enough votes.

Noon

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman faces intense pressure back home to oppose the Senate’s GOP health care bill.

The Ohio Republican is being subjected to baseball game flyovers, demonstrations, television ads and a verbal onslaught by GOP Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik).

Kasich has been highly critical nationally of the bill’s cuts to Medicaid, which he says will harm America’s most vulnerable citizens.

Vice President Mike Pence is pushing back with a visit to Cleveland on Wednesday in support of the bill. That catches Portman, who represents a closely divided battleground state, in the crosshairs of the high-stakes intraparty fight.

Portman easily won re-election in 2016, so he’s got some time and political cushion to await an alternative bill. But GOP leaders are eager now to replace the Affordable Care Act.

___

The top item in The Latest has been corrected to show political pummeling took place over days, not a day.


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