GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy: Latest health care plan doesn't fulfill T

It will destabilize individual health insurance for one sixth of all Americans. "Just the opposite occurs" under the GOP bill the House approved this month, said No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of IL.

Premiums on average would fall compared to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul - a chief goal of many Republicans - but that would be partly because policies would typically provide less coverage, said the report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

It also warned of rising costs for patients should insurance companies be allowed to charge higher rates for those with more serious medical conditions.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) also criticized the House bill for failing to adequately protect Americans with pre-existing medical conditions.

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, is sounding uncertain about his chances of finding a majority to repeal and replace the health law.

"I believe Senators across the ideological spectrum are proceeding in good faith", said Sen. Older adults have always been concerned about the rising cost of healthcare, and the bill would make things even worse for them, says David Certner, AARP legislative policy director. Republican senators have said they're moving in their own direction.

Enactment of the House health care plan would affect most Wisconsinites, according to a new report by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families; the report was released in advance of the CBO score.

In the weeks leading up to passage of the House bill, Republican leaders revised it to win support from some of the most conservative members of their party.

Approximately 23 million people would lose their insurance.

Heitkamp noted that savings created by the bill come largely from about $830 billion in cuts to Medicaid "while giving individuals making more than $200,000 a tax cut". The previous version of the bill reduced shortfalls by $150 billion.

Those provisions included waivers states could get for insurers to raise premiums on some people with pre-existing conditions, and to ignore health benefits that must be covered under Obama's law.

Older consumers who make too much to qualify for premium subsidies wouldn't see big changes to their premiums in no-waiver states under the AHCA. For older adults (50 to 64 years old) in low-income households the percentage would triple - from about 10% to nearly 30% going without health care.

Most of those individuals would be people who either could not afford or could not access insurance.

"In particular, out-of-pocket spending on maternity care and mental health and substance abuse services could increase by thousands of dollars in a given year for the nongroup enrollees who would use those services", the report said.

The report said, "States that previously mandated fewer benefits would be more likely to apply for a waiver" to allow insurers to drop such now mandated benefits if the Republican bill becomes law. Starting in 2020, average premiums would depend in part on any waivers granted to states and on how those waivers were implemented.

Yet in one sense, this would be a lucky consumer: He or she lives in a state that chose not to weaken consumer protections and thus this person could still buy a comprehensive policy regardless of any pre-existing conditions.

  • Zachary Reyes