Critics of Senate health bill hope to sway GOP Sen. Cassidy
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 25, 2017,
Jun 25, 2017, 18:06
Senate Republican leaders unveiled their health-care bill Thursday morning, after weeks of crafting it behind closed doors. That makes him the fifth senator to say so, the other four being Texas Sen. He said Friday he would vote against the bill in its current form but did not rule out supporting a revamped, final version of it.
"It's significant reform. It's a move in a much better direction because it's a patient-centered move", he said.
Another example: The Senate bill appears to be kinder than the House bill to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions, who can not be denied coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Some Republican senators say the bill doesn't go far enough and are calling for a complete repeal.
"Certainly in Iowa, we've been impacted and affected by what the state has done", he said, "in terms of attempting to privatize the Medicaid program". Some conservatives think current plans don't go far enough; others say those plans will hurt numerous people they represent. "As taxes, premiums and deductibles continue to skyrocket, choices and access to care have dwindled". "If Republicans pass this bill, they're the death party".
Senate Republicans are painting the new plan as less austere than the House bill which, according to a forecast by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), would leave 23 million fewer people insured than under current law.
The bill proposes phasing out Medicaid's expansion program and capping Medicaid spending, repealing Obamacare taxes and restructuring subsidies to insurance customers. Low-income Americans who now buy their own insurance would also lose federal help in paying their deductibles and co-payments.
Several other senators are on the fence, and all indications are that McConnell will try to secure their votes with individual concessions - money to combat opioid abuse to make up for cuts in Medicaid and the right for states to stop requiring coverage for substance abuse treatment, for example.
Heller said he can't support a bill "that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans". The Senate version is expected to be scored as early as next week.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said the new bill was "heartless", warning it would eventually cut Medicaid even more steeply than the House legislation, which slashes it by $800 billion over a decade.
Second, the bill would fund ObamaCare's "cost-sharing" subsidies - something not even Democrats ever did. However, Republican leadership has let it be known that it intends to have a floor vote on the resolution before the Senate breaks for its 10-day July 4 recess.
Confused? So are many experts in the health care community, who are urging Wisconsin's US senators to find ways to eliminate what the Wisconsin Hospital Association has estimated as a $36.9 billion loss in federal aid by 2025.