Johnson: Senate bill doesn't address health care costs

Claudine Rigal
Juin 24, 2017

Cory Gardner is calling for the Senate to slow down its push for a replacement health-care act, even offering to work through the upcoming recess.

Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, released their so-far largely private health care bill online on Thursday.

From a conservative perspective, the chief selling point of the bill is Medicaid reform.

Nearly immediately, the pro-Trump group America First Policies chose to launch what a source with the group says will be a major television, radio and digital ad buy against Heller - a remarkable attack on a member of Trump's own party whose seat is endangered in 2018. The bill allows states broad waiver authority in what services are covered by insurance plans, which experts told MONEY will allow them to redefine the Essential Health Benefits.

The Congressional Budget Office must now produce an analysis of the Senate bill.

The White House has yet to speak out against or in favor of the Senate AHCA bill. No state would be allowed to experiment with different models for protecting people with pre-existing conditions.

Republicans held 52 seats in the 100-member chamber, which means it can not afford losing more than three of its votes.

"We have to act", Mr McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Those similarities could make it easier for Republicans in the Senate and House when they begin negotiations on one, unified bill that would head to the President's desk. The Senate Republicans' plan puts a lid on that by rolling back the Obama-era expansion of the program and then granting states a set amount of money for each person enrolled.

"Now the federal government is saying, 'We're going to determine how much we'll contribute regardless of what it really costs".

Democrats say GOP characterizations of Obama's law as failing are wrong, while the Republican effort would boot millions off coverage and leave others facing higher out-of-pocket costs. Analysis shows that both the House and Senate versions of Trumpcare would strip coverage from millions and would make existing insurance policies worse and more expensive for almost all Americans.

The sources said that, in some instances, the documents McConnell planned to release might suggest optional approaches for issues that remain in dispute among Republicans.

-Repeal a new Medicare payroll tax on high-income families, saving them about $59 billion over the next decade. But Republicans from states that expanded Medicaid, like Ohio's Rob Portman, want to extend that to seven years. "We can't expect that women will be able to be economically secure if they can't access health care and take care of themselves and their families".

Notably, the bill offers significantly less funding to address the ongoing opioid epidemic than the House version of the bill, down to just $2 billion in 2018 from the $45 billion over the next decade provided in the House bill. But four senators have announced their opposition: Ted Cruz (TX), Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), and Ron Johnson (WI).

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