Senate GOP health bill would reshape Obama law

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 23, 2017

The Senate's version of a health-care successor bill to Obamacare differs from the House-passed American Health Care Act.

Four GOP Senators have come out in opposition to the Republican health care bill, just hours after it was publicly released Thursday morning.

The ACA's contentious individual mandate would be eliminated under the GOP bill, ending the tax penalty levied on those who don't buy insurance. Reports indicate it maintains rollbacks of the Medicaid expansion that extended eligibility and coverage for treatment and other health services to millions of low-income people.

Senate Republicans are unveiling their plan at a critical time for Obamacare's insurance exchanges, where consumers can purchase individual coverage.

It also would provide $62 billion allocated over eight years to a state innovation fund, which can be used for coverage for high-risk patients, reinsurance and other items. In the past weeks, McConnell's office has taken the lead drafting the bill.

One Republican senator said Thursday that many senators dislike parts of the bill, but will find it very hard to vote against it. We don't know what is in this proposed legislation, which will be available in draft form for comment today, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would like to schedule a vote on it by next week.

But some senators expressed reservations and said they would oppose the bill, putting its passage into jeopardy. That measure based the subsidies only on age and didn't peg them to actual premiums, resulting in estimates of dramatic cost spikes for some Americans and prompting a heavy onslaught of public criticism that spooked many House moderates.

The bill's changes to Medicaid are concerning to some members of the Senate. Sen.

McConnell hopes the package will garner enough support from moderate and conservative Republicans for a vote he wants to have next week.

For constituents in states with Democratic senators, Indivisible recommends calling their offices to ask that they either withhold consent or filibuster to slow down Senate business and prevent a vote.

Beginning in 2020, the Senate measure would also limit the federal funds states get each year for Medicaid.

"We agreed on the need to free Americans from Obamacare's mandates - so Americans are no longer forced to buy insurance they don't need or can't afford", McConnell said on the floor. The heads of 10 managed care organizations penned a letter to McConnell and Schumer this week saying they were "united in our opposition to the Medicaid policies now being debated by the Senate". Republicans may later decide to let insurers in deregulated states sell policies nationwide-meaning that firms in states that kept to the rules would quickly lose healthy customers to cheaper, deregulated providers.

The former president issued a statement on his Facebook page as Senate Republicans unveiled a plan to dismantle Obama's signature presidential achievement.

Planned Parenthood is holding Pink Out the Night demonstrations in cities and towns across the country, where supporters will rally to protect communities' access to health care, including reproductive health. Opponents of the GOP plan were already making their voices heard on Capitol Hill, just minutes after the details were released of the Senate Republican plan. That would seem to mean that people who paid a fine associated with their 2016 taxes could get that fine refunded. Other employer mandates would also be eliminated, as well as almost all of Obamacare's taxes.

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