Toomey upbeat about Senate health care bill amid protests

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey is praising the health care bill written by himself and his fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate, but isn't saying whether he'd vote for it.

Toomey's statement Thursday came hours after Senate Republicans released their long-awaited bill to dismantle much of former President Barack Obama's law.

The bill can still undergo changes, and Toomey says he'll examine it and welcome feedback.

Still, Toomey calls the Senate's bill an important and constructive first step in replacing Obama's seven-year-old law with something better and stable.

Toomey also lauds the bill's curbs on federal Medicaid spending, and says it doesn't pull the rug out from anyone who's covered.

Pennsylvania's Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says such cuts to Medicaid will hurt seniors in need of nursing care, working families, children with disabilities and rural hospitals.

A group of protesters gathered outside Toomey's office Thursday night and Friday morning to shown their displeasure with the bill and the process by which the bull was produced.