Senate Healthcare Bill Makes Major Cuts to Medicaid

Claudine Rigal
Juin 24, 2017

Now comes his next challenge - persuading enough Republicans to back the measure and avert a defeat that could be shattering for President Donald Trump and the GOP. This month, Obama criticized Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord that his administration signed in 2015, ruing "an absence of American leadership".

"As now drafted, this bill draft does not do almost enough to lower premiums", Cruz said in a separate statement obtained by CNN's Dana Bash. "The Senate proposal is just as bad, if not worse, than that legislation because it decreases coverage and increases costs instead of expanding quality and affordable health care".

Will it pass? The dominant attitude on Thursday (at least in my Twitter feed) was that Mitch McConnell is a master legislator who had carefully maneuvered the bill past various obstacles. I'll agree with the done-deal crowd that if Republicans really want to pass a bill, they will.

Some of the cuts to Medicaid would be used to offset tax cuts for people making more than $250-thousand, which is less than 3% of the people living in Colorado. This is not only wrong, it's flat out cruel. "This is a step backwards for cost, coverage and care", he said in a statement. This is a matter of life and death, solvency or bankruptcy for many people.

Opponents of the bill gathered outside the office of Colorado Sen. A week or so, assuming a major vote before the July 4 recess, appears even worse a rush to get a health care financing bill, but not necessarily a bill that's good for health care for many Americans.

Late Thursday, Trump tweeted, "I am very supportive of the Senate #HealthcareBill".

Democrats unanimously oppose the measure.

McConnell, eager to approve the legislation next week, indicated he was open to changes before it reaches the Senate floor. "And while I know that division makes it hard to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that's what we need to do today".

At the same time, his prominence in the debate highlights a dilemma for Democrats who are undergoing a painful search for a galvanizing agenda and new party leader in the wake of Hillary Clinton's loss to Trump last November.

A number of other GOP senators are avoiding outright supporting the new health care bill unveiled by Republican leaders Thursday morning - saying they need more time to read the fine print before taking a stand. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Four conservative senators expressed opposition but openness to talks: Sens.

"We agreed on the need to free Americans from Obamacare's mandates - so Americans are no longer forced to buy insurance they don't need or can't afford", McConnell said on the floor. In March, Trump, with no evidence, erroneously accused Obama of ordering a wiretap on Trump Tower in NY - an Obama spokesman called the accusation "simply false".

Part of the Obama law was an offer to the states: If they would expand Medicaid, a joint federal-state insurance program for low-income people, to a group of slightly higher-income adults, the federal government would pick up the entire tab in the initial years. Bob Corker and Mike Rounds both responded "we'll see".

Sen. Susan Collins of ME reiterated her opposition to language blocking federal money for Planned Parenthood, which many Republicans oppose because it provides abortions.

The Senate bill's real-world impact is still unknown, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is expected to provide an estimate early next week.

Obama is "obligated" to weigh in, Rosenberg said. He said amendments during the upcoming debate "cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation".

The White House said it is hopeful a final bill will be finished before lawmakers leave Washington later this summer.

Congress didn't listen, but that hasn't stopped Trump from backing its plans.

In fact, a effect of the House-passed bill could mean some people losing private-paid insurance.

House bill: Tax credits would be based primarily on age.

Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president of the consulting firm Avalare Health, said the Senate subsidies would be smaller than Obama's because they're keyed to the cost of a bare-bones plan and because additional help now provided for deductibles and copayments would eventually be discontinued.

Asked by CNN if the new bill met his "Kimmel test", Cassidy responded, "Again, I need to review the text but the issue is if your loved one gets sick, would they have adequate coverage?" And it blocks federal funds to Planned Parenthood for one year and for health plans that cover most abortions.

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