Which city in Montana can afford to lose its health insurance coverage?

Claudine Rigal
Juin 25, 2017

Advocates decried details of the U.S. Senate's HR 1628, a.k.a., the Better Health Care Reconciliation Act, after logistics of the plan were finally released on June 22.

Obamacare requires Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty if they don't. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he's willing to alter the measure to attract support, and next week promises plenty of back-room bargaining as he tries pushing a final package through his chamber.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Sen.

The speech by Dr. Tom Price, the US secretary of Health and Human Services, came two days after a select group of Republicans in the Senate released a bill that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act's requirement for most people to buy health insurance or pay a fine, significantly roll back the expansion of Medicaid coverage for the poor (called Medi-Cal in California) and end the increased taxes on affluent Americans that have underwritten much of Obamacare's spending.

Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who each have expressed serious reservations with the bill for very different reasons, proclaimed during exclusive interviews on Sunday's "Meet The Press" that rushing a vote before the July 4th recess would be unwise.

McConnell, eager to approve the legislation next week, indicated he was open to changes before it reaches the Senate floor. In fact, people who are over 50, many of them would be asked to pay as much as 50 percent of their income [for health insurance], and that's all in order to make the policies cheaper for younger people. That includes phasing out extra money Obama's statute gives states that have expanded the program, a step Nevada has taken, adding 200,000 additional people. "Our lives are depending on it", Wade said Friday, blinking back tears as she spoke during an "emergency field hearing" at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Heller is the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition.

Republican senators - like the House bill, this one is an exclusively partisan endeavor - are already raising qualms. "And then sign up for coverage, get the surgery and then drop it", said Katie Allen, executive director of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage.

Republicans know this. Many have heard from constituents facing chronic or deadly illness who are desperate to preserve their access to health care for their children or themselves. About 11 million are covered by the expansion. "For LGBTQ people, who already face health care disparities, this proposal is downright risky".

First of all, it's only 142 pages!

Four conservative senators expressed opposition but openness to talks: Sens. They were Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the government had guaranteed that its funding for adults newly eligible for Medicaid would fall to no lower than 90 percent of their costs. President Trump repeatedly promised during the 2016 presidential campaign that he would not cut Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security. "Well, they're also four good guys, four friends of mine and I think that they'll probably get there", he said. "We'll have to see".

Scott discussed the bill on Fox News on Thursday, saying people with pre-existing conditions should be protected and the federal government should let states decide how to spend tax dollars on health care.

Others, like Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia and Rob Portman of OH, have pointed to concerns about the proposal's cuts to Medicaid.

The Senate bill would lock in Florida's already low Medicaid funding for the next decade or more, making it hard to keep covering eligible Floridians and leaving little money for public health threats such as Zika, warns Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has yet to score the Senate bill, but it is broadly similar to the House bill, which the CBO predicted would cause 23 million Americans to lose health insurance over the next decade.

She says she intends to wait for a Congressional Budget Office analysis before making a decision.

Roll back the taxpayer subsidies for people buying health insurance policies on the ACA exchange. The subsidies help reduce deductibles and copayments for people with modest incomes.

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