U.S. bishop urges Senate to remedy health care after vote to proceed

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 2, 2017

The BCRA's demise is just the start of a packed week of legislative action that GOP leaders hope will end with at least some major changes to the Affordable Care Act. Police blocked reporters from talking to the protesters before their ejection from the gallery.

By nightfall, the Senate was on to another amendment. "Otherwise", said the senator, "what you do is have adverse selection". No, but without it I would have no health insurance. Despite his reputation as a master tactician, McConnell has been unable in recent weeks to wrangle his fractious caucus into a cohesive health-care voting block.

Speaking Tuesday in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said he is "very very sad" for the Republicans who opposed the motion but "very happy with the result" of the vote.

The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, for example, advocated on Friday that the Senate should vote either on its own health care bill or on the 2015 reconciliation bill that repealed the ACA. Originally introduced June 26, it is now in its third version and is nearly certain to be altered further. It also eliminates the law's tax on medical device manufacturers. "It will certainly mean drastic cuts in Medicaid, huge tax cuts for the rich, no help for those with pre-existing conditions, and million and millions losing health care, particularly in our poorer and more rural states". The Cruz plan allows insurers to offer cheaper, more narrow health plans alongside their more robust ACA-compliant plans. "But it's more important to get the work done right, that substance matters when it comes to health care reform".

Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, Georgia's two GOP senators, provided two much-needed votes for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had worked furiously over the last several days to secure the required GOP votes to kick off debate on repealing Obamacare.

"In all of its various forms, this bill is the worst bill for women in a generation", Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. Senate aides say the provisions are likely to be rewritten to meet the parliamentary rules. McCain essentially called for one in a short speech appealing to his Senate colleagues to restore trust in each other, work in a bipartisan fashion on health care and tune out the loudest voices on television and the Internet. However, analysts also expect that people who need more medical care would face significantly higher prices, because health plans' "risk pools" would be splintered between healthier and sicker groups. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and one from Sen.

Seema Verma, director of the Health and Human Services Department's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has provided some Republicans with an analysis of how the bill would affect people covered by the expansion in their states, according to individuals briefed on the matter. Numerous governors targeted have said no to the administration's offer, predicting that such low-income residents still could not afford the private coverage. The Senate has proposed amendments that make even deeper cuts to Medicaid, reducing its budget by a third. Thousands more have been able to get Medicaid coverage they already were entitled to receive.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has championed this kind of repeal without substitutes, viewing it as a purer version of ACA repeal and thus more acceptable.

From Senate maneuvering to Washington testimony by Pennsylvania's insurance commissioner, here is a summary of key points in the national health care debate as it unfolds today. Other Republicans, however, abandoned the idea of a repeal-only bill months ago, believing it would upend coverage for millions of people and devastate insurance markets.

The Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates would lead to 22 million Americans without insurance by 2026. It would buy the Senate's GOP leaders more time, because its passage would lead to a conference committee with the House.

GOP lawmakers emerged from that meeting uncharacteristically quiet, quickly filing into the Senate chamber.

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