Sen. Collins: Long-Awaited Health Bill is a Concern

Next week, the U.S. Senate will consider the "Better Care Reconciliation Act", (BCRA), its version of legislation to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. "Obamacare" or the ACA).

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite).

A Republican senator up for re-election next year just got some bad news about the Senate GOP health care bill.

In an impassioned open letter on Facebook, the former president pleaded with USA lawmakers not to dismantle the Affordable Care Act - known as Obamacare - which he considers one of the signature achievements of his time in the White House. Erasing Obama's law has been a marquee pledge for Trump and virtually the entire party for years.

Senate Republicans' unveiling of the Healthcare Bill was also a shot in the arm for drug companies, as they hope that the much-awaited tax reforms will get implemented. "It's going to be a really tough one to make, and I don't envy whoever those people are", said Hanel. "Remember, ObamaCare is dead", President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday.

According to a poll from the Kaiser Famidly Foundation, 55 percent of Americans say the Senate's bill is unfavorable, compared with 30 percent who say it is favorable.

Already conservative GOP Sens. McConnell was "basically writing it by himself behind closed doors and nobody is ever doing anything good behind closed doors", Meyers said. But he said it was time to act.

McConnell wants the bill passed next week, still with no public hearings or opportunities for health care experts or advocates to have a say. Sens. Paul Rand, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee said they weren't weren't "ready" to vote yes, but were open to negotiating.

As he has multiple times since the ACA's passage in 2010, Obama conceded that the bill was less than ideal and vowed to support any Republican-backed bill that "is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost".

Heller, who faces a hard re-election fight next year, said he would vote against the bill in its current form but did not rule out supporting a revamped version.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins and some others are anxious about the bill rolling back Obamacare's expansion of Medicare and putting limits on federal funding of the program. Under the House bill, tax credits would be based primarily on age.

Obama held nothing back as he weighed in on Facebook. He said amendments during the upcoming debate "cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation". Though Trump lauded its passage in a Rose Garden ceremony, he called the House measure "mean" last week.

In addition to reducing the number of uninsured, "there has also been a huge drop in the number of people showing up at hospitals without insurance, which is a positive trend that has saved millions of dollars in Michigan's health-care system, "Snyder has said in a statement". The budget office analysis of the Senate bill is expected early next week. That likely would end the program in MI, one of eight states that expanded Medicaid with the caveat that the expansion would end if federal funding declined. The enhanced federal financing that pays for the expansion would disappear entirely in 2024.

"As we estimate the cost of the subsidies to buy insurance, we actually believe they may exceed, or at least equal, the subsidies that are under Obamacare", said Paul.

The bill would let states get waivers to ignore some coverage requirements under Obama's law, such as specific health services insurers must now cover. Those include continued payments of cost-sharing subsidies to insurers, a repeal of the tax on health insurers, and a $50 billion stability fund created by the law.

  • Leroy Wright