Senate GOP unveils 'Obamacare' overhaul, but not all aboard
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 23, 2017,
Jun 23, 2017, 23:10
On Thursday, lawmakers reiterated those concerns, wondering out loud whether one week was enough to properly debate the contents of a bill aimed at overhauling the current health care system. But Medicaid has also been eating up an ever-larger share of federal spending, so the Republican plan puts a lid on that by rolling back the Obama-era expansion of the program and then granting states a set amount of money for each person enrolled. On top of that, the bill would eliminate subsidies to help low-income people cover out-of-pocket costs and deductibles starting in 2019.
He remains concerned that the Senate bill does accomplish that goal.
In the Senate, Democrats are determined to defend a law that has provided coverage to 20 million people and is a pillar of Obama's legacy. But they said they were "open to negotiation and obtaining more information".
"No amount of eleventh hour reality-denying or buck-passing by Democrats is going to change the fact that more Americans are going to get hurt unless we do something", he said. "Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo".
"Ending the Medicaid expansion at a slower rate still means that millions of Americans will have their health care coverage taken away". "It's about the character of our country - who we are, and who we aspire to be".
It would also bar the use of the bill's health care tax credits to buy coverage that includes abortions, a major demand for conservatives.
They are Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
Indeed, several prominent conservatives have come out saying the Senate bill doesn't go far enough in repealing and replacing the provisions of the original Affordable Care Act.
On the other hand, Sens.
Nevada Sen. Dean Heller said he has "serious concerns" and also said he wants to see what his state's governor says.
Sen. Susan Collins of ME reiterated her opposition to language blocking federal money for Planned Parenthood, which many Republicans oppose because it provides abortions.
Late Thursday, Trump tweeted, "I am very supportive of the Senate #HealthcareBill". Look forward to making it really special!
While Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House, the party's efforts to unwind Obamacare has been dogged by internal conflicts between moderate and hard-line members of the party.
Obama law: Insurers can not charge their oldest customers more than 3 times what they charge young adults.
The US House of Representatives approved its version of the bill, dubbed the American Health Care Act, on May 4. Though he lauded its passage in a Rose Garden ceremony, Trump last week privately called the House measure "mean" and called on senators to make their version more "generous". The statement goes on to call out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in particular: "Leader Mitch McConnell even said he would repeal ObamaCare 'root and branch.' This bill, however, breaks those promises".
The Congressional Budget Office is expected to issue its "score" of the Senate bill before the end of June. "Because of this, I can not support it as now drafted, and I do not believe it has the votes to pass the Senate". The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and AARP, representing older people, all criticized the measure.
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.