Meanwhile, Democrats on the Hill were organizing news conference after news conference, including a large showing of Democratic senators who gathered on the Capitol steps to lambast the already-beleaguered bill.
The draft bill was meant to mollify moderates and hardliners in the Republican Party, but opposition quickly mounted on both sides.
President Donald Trump says that if the health care bill fails to pass in the Senate, he won't like it - but "that's OK."Trump spoke Tuesday at a gathering of Senate Republicans after their leaders shelved a vote on their prized health care bill until at least next month".
McConnell told White House chief of staff Reince Priebus over the weekend that the group's attacks were "beyond stupid", according to a Republican with knowledge of the exchange. The person demanded anonymity to share the private conversation.
Republican senators went to the White House later in the afternoon to talk with President Trump about the status of the bill.
Senator David Perdue said earlier that he believed a vote would not occur this week as planned, but possibly "the first week when we get back" from the July 4 Independence Day recess.
"We're going to press on", McConnell said after announcing the delay, adding that leaders would keep working to make senators "comfortable" with the Bill.
Senate Democrats, who Republicans have excluded from any efforts to make changes to the existing health care law, spent Tuesday highlighting what they said would be the impact of the GOP legislation on individuals.
The current proposal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would cause an estimated 22 million more Americans to be uninsured by the end of the coming decade while reducing federal spending by $321 billion during that time, the Congressional Budget Office concluded Monday. Conservative Republicans including Sens. His spokesman, Conn Carroll, said Tuesday that Lee would not vote to commence debate on the bill "as it is now written".
He told reporters on Tuesday that he was very optimistic.
The CBO analysis of the Senate bill determined that premiums will drop for those who don't qualify for subsidies, but premiums will rise for individuals over the age of 50 who now qualify for subsidies. Senate leaders could use some of those additional savings to attract moderate votes by making Medicaid and other provisions more generous, though conservatives would rather use that money to reduce red ink. But three GOP senators are threatening to vote against a procedural motion to begin debate, a vote expected Wednesday. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. If it's approved by the Senate, it will be up to Rep. Mike Kelly to show he's willing to defend this bill, and explain to his constituents how it will provide them better health care at lower costs. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) have said they, too, will likely oppose the procedural motion that allows debate on the bill to start.
The Senate bill repeals the individual mandate to carry health care coverage and the employer mandate for businesses with at least 50 employees to offer coverage.
That's the word Tuesday as the GOP faced five defections from its ranks just hours after the Congressional Budget Office said the bill would force 22 million off insurance rolls.
At the White House meeting with most of the 52 Republican senators, Trump said it was vital to reach agreement on the Senate healthcare measure because Obamacare was "melting down".
Worse yet the state of Colorado will also need to bear the cost of assistance for Medicaid recipients. In a letter to senators Tuesday, it criticized an "opaque and closed" legislative process and proposed cuts to Medicaid that could lead to hundreds of thousands of lower-income veterans losing their insurance.