GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio under pressure on health bill

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 20, 2017 file photo, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, pauses for a reporter's question as he arrives at a closed-door GOP strategy session on the Republican health care overhaul with Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and others, at the Capitol in Washington. Days after it's release, Portman faces intense pressure back home to oppose the Senate’s GOP health care bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

 

WASHINGTON (AP) – 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.

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.

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