Senate GOP leaders unveil bill to repeal Affordable Care Act

Claudine Rigal
Juin 24, 2017

After weeks of closed-door meetings that angered Democrats and some Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell., planned to release the proposal Thursday.

A health insurance industry trade group says it's encouraged by provisions of the Senate GOP health care bill, but stopped short of voicing support.

Passage would move President Donald Trump and the GOP closer to one of their marquee pledges - erasing Obama's 2010 statute.

"It cuts health and medical care for our neighbors who need it the most to provide tax cuts to the rich".

The Senate legislation also would reimburse insurers for billions of dollars in cost-sharing subsidies they'll pay to help low-income enrollees pay for coverage in 2018 and 2019.

"I am very supportive of the Senate #HealthcareBill".

Under special rules McConnell is using that will block Democrats from using a filibuster to kill the bill, the legislation can not include provisions that make policy changes that don't primarily affect the budget. "Remember, ObamaCare is dead". Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, McConnell can afford to lose just two of the 52 GOP senators and still prevail. Starting in 2020, the Senate version would begin shifting increasing amounts of tax credits away from higher earners, making more funds available to lower-income recipients, some officials said. Moran said he would take his time to examine the legislation.

It would also repeal most of the tax increases imposed by the Affordable Care Act to help pay for expanded coverage, in effect handing a broad tax cut to the affluent in a measure that would also slice billions of dollars from Medicaid, a program that serves 1 in 5 Americans, not only the poor but also nearly two-thirds of people in nursing homes.

"I've done in five months what other people haven't done in years", Trump said in an interview that aired Friday on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends". Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol after Republicans released their long-awaited bill to scuttle much of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, at the Capitol in Washington. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Five Republican senators have announced they will not support the bill, which is created to repeal and replace Obamacare, in its current form.

"I know that if it doesn't meet the needs of Kansans, it won't get my vote", he said.

Heller expressed particular concerns about the bill's impact on Medicaid, and especially on states, such as Nevada, that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.

Other Republican senators, such as Dean Heller of Nevada and Rob Portman of OH, expressed their own qualms, as did AARP, the American Hospital Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The legislation, named the Better Care Reconciliation Act, also would abolish most of the taxes that funded the Affordable Care Act's coverage expansion.

Obama held nothing back as he weighed in on Facebook.

Simply put, if there's a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family - this bill will do you harm. He said amendments during the upcoming debate "cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation".

The Senate bill is similar to the version of the House measure that passed last month.

Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said: "Millions of Americans would lose health insurance coverage under this plan". It was widely expected that they were positioning themselves to wring some concessions out of Senate leadership.

"You have to protect Medicaid expansion states", the senator said.

In the Senate, Democrats are determined to defend a law that has provided coverage to 20 million people and is a pillar of Obama's legacy. Instead, it entices people to voluntarily buy a policy by offering them tax credits based on age and income to help pay premiums.

The bill would let states get waivers to ignore some coverage requirements under Obama's law, such as specific health services insurers must now cover. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again.

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