Senate GOP releases bill to cut Medicaid, alter 'Obamacare'
Jun 23 2017
McConnell said a fresh CBO score on the new bill was expected next week, and there will be "robust debate" on the floor. That's not true. I've always been willing to work with Republicans to improve our nation's health care system, but this secretly-negotiated, partisan health care plan simply makes it worse.
"I need the information to justify a "yes" vote".
The Senate bill would phase out extra money Obama's law provides to 31 states that agreed to expand coverage under the federal-state Medicaid program. "It's a big shift", said John Corlett, president of the Center for Community Solutions who also served as a Director of Ohio's Medicaid program.
"Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor", the statement read. The Senate version is, in some respects, more moderate than the House bill, offering more financial assistance to some lower-income people to help them defray the rapidly rising cost of private health insurance.
Regardless, McConnell plans to force these senators to vote.
Senate Republicans had been briefed on the plan earlier Thursday.
Some of the Senate Bill's provisions could be political land mines, with individual senators' reactions crucial to determining whether or not the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, survives a Republican attack that has been underway since its passage in 2010.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME said in a statement that she "will carefully review the text of the Senate health care bill this week and into the weekend". Source's tell CNN they are expecting it Monday or Tuesday.
Sen. Dean Heller, also a Republican, warned he is not ready to lend his support because of "serious concerns".
Still, others were more upbeat.
The stabilization money, combined with the continuation of ObamaCare's cost-sharing reduction subsidies through 2019, could lead some conservatives to say the bill keeps too much of ObamaCare.
The bill have to undergo parliamentary scrutiny to ensure that it meets the strict requirements on what can or can't be included in a bill under the budget reconciliation process. More than 600,000 state residents are covered as a result of the expansion.
McConnell hopes to push the measure through the Senate next week.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - a key swing vote - said she's on her way back to her office to really go through the bill before she comments on it.
The bill would end the Medicaid expansion - which allows thousands of Ohioans to get treatment - and replace it with just $2 billion to address the opioid crisis in the entire country.
The Senate bill - once promised as a top-to-bottom revamp of the health bill passed by the House last month - instead maintains its structure, with modest adjustments. This would likely force states to cut enrollment, benefits or provider payments.
Montana's Governor, Steve Bullock was also not in support of the bill. Fewer middle class folks would get help because only those earning up to 350% of the poverty level would qualify, rather than the 400% threshold contained in Obamacare.
States could not get exemptions to Obama's prohibition against charging higher premiums for some people with pre-existing medical conditions, but the subsidies would be lower, making coverage less affordable, Pearson said. It bans the use of any federal funds for any health care plan that covers abortion, except in the cases of rape, incest or where the pregnancy puts the mother's life in danger. "I just didn't run on Obamacare lite", Paul said.