5th GOP senator joins opposition to health bill

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

"Only in Washington is giving more each year considered a cut", said Barrasso, who also said the new health care plan will provide subsidies for insurance for those who don't qualify for Medicaid.

Trump's comments come amid the public opposition of five Republican senators so far to the Senate GOP plan that would scuttle much of former President Barack Obama's health law.

But in physicians' offices and medical centers, in state capitols and corporate offices, there are growing fears the cuts proposed in the legislation would create even larger problems in the USA health care system.

At the summit Sunday, Cornyn reportedly said, "It's going to be close". "Let's focus more on the patients, less on the insurance companies", said Parkinson.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the House repeal bill, which Trump celebrated last month, would almost double the number of Americans without health coverage in the next decade, pushing the ranks of the uninsured to more 50 million.

Instead, the Senate proposal aims to shore up insurance markets around the country by creating a pool of $50 billion that states and insurers could tap into to lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of lower-income people.

Collins and others are anxious about the bill rolling back the Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid and putting limits on federal funding of the program.

Like Obamacare, this bill has no bipartisan support, although some Republicans say they're open to negotiation. "That's a cost that the state can not sustain", he said. But Democrats and state lawmakers are deeply opposed to cuts in Medicaid funding among other things, arguing that those provisions will do far more harm to Americans' health than good. It would also slap annual spending caps on the overall Medicaid program, which since its inception in 1965 has provided states with unlimited money to cover eligible costs.

On Thursday, Obama ripped the Senate's version for its "fundamental meanness". The federal share drops to 90 percent after 2020. The Senate bill, which they call the Better Care Reconciliation Act, resembles the version passed by House Republicans last month but with some key differences.

McConnell has acknowledged that he's willing to change the measure before it's voted on.

"That was my term because I want to see - and I speak from the heart - that's what I want to see", Trump said.

At Valley Health, a network of clinics serving mostly poor patients in West Virginia, southern OH and eastern Kentucky, fewer patients with insurance would probably force cutbacks in services, such as extended pediatric hours that allow working parents to bring in sick children evenings and weekends. A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine reviewed rigorous analyses of the relationship between health care coverage and mortality. Interestingly, the people who have been most hurt by the Affordable Care Act are the people who earn too much to get tax credits but they buy their own insurance. That helps keep premium costs in check. It would permit state governments to make changes to Obamacare insurance plans that could then be adopted by private plans.

Trump has endorsed the bill, and Democrats say they will take every opportunity to link the legislation to an unpopular president. And people with medical problems could game the system by enrolling only when they get sick.

"Whatever they do, they've got to treat states fairly".

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance markets in several states, including NY and Washington, collapsed when state leaders tried to guarantee coverage without any insurance requirement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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