Senate GOP releases health care bill and battle lines form

Four Republican Senators say they're not ready to vote for the GOP healthcare bill, putting the measure in jeopardy.

The bill lets states waive required coverage of essential health benefits.

Defending his signature health care law, former president Barack Obama criticized the health care legislation unveiled Thursday by Senate Republican leaders and called on people to contact their lawmakers to protest. Republicans hold 52 out of 100 Senate seats, so they can afford only two defections; in that case, Vice President Mike Pence would be brought in to break a 50-50 tie.

The Senate plan presented on Thursday represents a more palatable version of the House bill, which was derided by Democrats, health organizations, and even a few conservatives who felt it didn't go far enough in repealing Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated he was open to discussion and seemed determined to muscle the measure through his chamber next week.

Currently, the medical device tax is suspended through the end of this year, but under either the House or Senate bills it would be permanently repealed before the moratorium on the tax ends.

Trump urged the House of Representatives to pass a similar bill in May, only to criticise it in private as "mean" once it passed. This was created to address several problems, including the possibility that people would purchase coverage only when they got sick. Dean Heller, could face a political price for voting to repeal Obamacare, which has grown in popularity since its inception in 2010. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. "We're actually cutting taxes", Paul said. But in a departure from the House's bill, states can't opt of regulations that now prevent insurers from charging people with pre-existing conditions more for their medical coverage. That's things like mental health and hospital care. While this will prevent some middle class earners from receiving a subsidy, the bill also will allow those living below the poverty line to continue to receive subsidies, which aims to provide assistance to those living in states that chose not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. It also limits the growth of Medicaid and eventually phases out the expansion, which has added more than 400,000 people to the rolls in Arizona. Those include stabilizing the state's insurance market, which has just one company offering individual health policies, and "providing a sustainable and equitable path forward for Medicaid", he said.

  • Larry Hoffman