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Ben Sasse, Deb Fischer

Sens. Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer

Neither Sen. Deb Fischer nor Sen. Ben Sasse was ready to take a firm position on the Republican health care plan released Thursday.

"Senator Sasse is digging into the text of the discussion draft and we will politely decline to comment further at this time," a Sasse spokesman said.

"Senator Fischer is reading the health care bill," a Fischer spokesperson said. 

Both Nebraska senators are Republicans. 

There are at least four GOP senators who've said they are opposed to the long-awaited bill, but are open to negotiations.

The plan would cut Medicaid and erase tax boosts that helped Obama finance his expansion of coverage. It would also provide less-generous tax credits to help people buy insurance and let states get waivers to ignore some coverage standards that "Obamacare" requires of insurers. And it would end the tax penalties under Obama's law on people who don't buy insurance — the so-called individual mandate — and on larger companies that don't offer coverage to their employees.

Four GOP conservative senators — Texas' Ted Cruz, Mike Lee of Utah, Kentucky's Rand Paul and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — said the bill falls short of GOP promises to erase Obama's law and lower people's costs. But they said they were "open to negotiation and obtaining more information."

The bill has a thin margin of error. It will fail if just three of the Senate's 52 GOP senators oppose it. 

The House approved its version of the bill last month.


Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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