Mitch McConnell Seeks Votes to Help Push Health Care Bill Through Senate

Elias Hubbard
June 24, 2017

■ Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government initially covered all of the costs for the roughly 11 million people insured under the law's expansion of Medicaid, who are largely adults without disabilities.

At lightning speed and with a little over a week for wider review, the Republicans' bill could influence health care and health insurance of every American. Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ron Johnson and Ted Cruz have said that they are "not ready to vote for this bill" as it does not "repeal Obamacare", one of President Trump's key election promises.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) is probably the most endangered Republican up for reelection in 2018.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen.

The bill proposes phasing out Medicaid's expansion program and capping Medicaid spending, repealing Obamacare taxes and restructuring subsidies to insurance customers. Beneath the surface, it looks no better than the House version that even President Donald Trump has called mean.

House bill: Instead of a mandate, insurers could impose 30% surcharge on people who buy a new plan after letting previous coverage lapse, giving healthy people an incentive to remain insured.

The tax credits would be tied to income - similar to the Affordable Care Act, but different from the House bill that would link the funding to a person's age. And the main liberal criticism of the bill - that it would leave too many people uninsured - is misguided: We suspect that the Congressional Budget Office will find that most of the reduction in insurance rolls results from people's choosing not to buy insurance when they're not being threatened with fines. It's estimated that under the Republican Senate health care plan 75 percent of them would lose some or all of the federal subsidy that helps them pay the premiums.

Louisiana's senators haven't taken a public position on the Senate proposal.

ACA: Insurers required to cover essential health benefits, such as hospital visits and mental health care. To say the Better Care Reconciliation Act, as the Senate is calling their version of the AHCA (ironically, I presume?), is trash does a disservice to trash.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the bill, drafted in secret by a handful of lawmakers and aides, at a closed-door session with party faithful.

McConnell, eager to approve the legislation next week, indicated he was open to changes before it reaches the Senate floor.

— The Senate bill differs from the House health care measure, so the legislation would have to be reconciled in a House-Senate conference committee.

"Medicaid is being cut - Sen. The guaranteed protections and care that you have today are weakened and now, politicians in Madison will decide whether you keep the care you have, or whether it is taken away".

It uses a budget gimmick to comply with Senate rules against adding to the federal government's long-term debt.

Graham said he feels "comfortable" that the Senate bill will not deny insurance coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions, a point of contention in the House measure. Thirty-one states now offer Medicaid to this group.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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