Senate Republicans release bill to cut Medicaid
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 24, 2017,
Jun 24, 2017, 21:44
Four conservative senators expressed opposition but openness to talks: Sens.
For weeks, McConnell's colleagues have publicly criticized his decision to write the bill behind closed doors.
Following the unveiling of McConnell's handiwork, Trump said "a little negotiation" was in order to make it better.
Appealing to Congress and the U.S. people, Mr Obama said the 142-page plan had a "fundamental meanness" at its core and was "not a healthcare bill". If passed in its current form, the Senate bill would greatly weaken Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides insurance to almost 69 million people, more than any other government or private program. It requires individuals to take out health insurance, makes most businesses offer it to staff, provides subsidies to make it more affordable and expands Medicaid.
As health care costs have kept climbing, employers cut back on coverage, and Medicaid passed Medicare as the nation's largest public insurance program.
The Senate's most conservative members said the plan did not do enough to scale back the United States government's role.
"We live in the wealthiest country on earth". Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, will put the bill up for vote in the Senate next Thursday.
Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Ron Johnson probably hold the fate of the Senate Obamacare repeal-replace bill and staked out their own position on what needs to happen for them to get behind the effort. On the other hand, it could be bad news for employees of small businesses who hoped to obtain coverage through their employers.
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who faces a competitive re-election race in 2018, says he has "serious concerns about the bill's impact on the Nevadans who depend on Medicaid".
And Susan Collins of ME restated her opposition to blocking federal money for Planned Parenthood. Look forward to making it really special! Obama's law made many preventive services free of charge to the patient.
McConnell, eager to approve the legislation next week, indicated he was open to changes before it reaches the Senate floor, but he said it was time to act. Though Trump lauded its passage in a Rose Garden ceremony, he called the House measure "mean" last week. The Congressional Budget Office concluded it would cost 23 million Americans health coverage by 2026. The Senate bill phases in the federal funding cuts to the expansion more slowly than would be the case under the House bill; however, the longer-term loss of Medicaid coverage due to these cuts would be the same even with a slower phase-in, as illustrated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
"We have an agreement on the statement, let's see where it goes from there", he said.
The Senate bill includes drastic federal funding cuts to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults. Those additional funds would continue through 2020, then gradually fall and disappear entirely in 2024.
Most of the Californians who would lose Medi-Cal coverage would be unable to afford to purchase private insurance individually under the Senate bill. But several health policy experts said they expected the losses, driven largely by Medicaid cuts, to be on par with those in the House bill. Rather, it strips out protections and leaves many people out in the cold.
"This current draft doesn't get the job done", Cruz said. States would also have to retain Obama's requirement that family insurance cover children up to age 26.
Hospital stocks, which don't even get the benefit of a big tax break in this bill, also rose broadly on its unveiling. That language could be forced out of the bill for procedural reasons, which would threaten support from conservatives, but Republicans would seek other ways to retain the restriction.
A year ago about 100,000 low-income West Virginia residents with Medicaid coverage had drug abuse diagnoses, according to state health officials. He said insurance companies are "flocking and leaving" the markets it set up.