Menendez Weighs in on 'Devastating' Senate Health Care Bill

(Des Moines) - At least one prominent Iowa Democrat is voicing concerns about the Senate Republican health care plan unveiled Thursday.

No Democrat will support the plan which means Republicans can only afford to lose two Republican votes in the Senate or else the bill will fail.

Senate Republicans' new health bill cuts taxes by almost $1 trillion over the next decade, mostly for corporations and the richest families in America.

Nevada senator Dean Heller has become the fifth Republican to come out in opposition to the current draft version of the Senate healthcare bill.

After the unveiling, four of the majority party's Senators made their dissent public.

Further complicating the issue for him is Nevada's Republican Governor, Brian Sandoval, an outspoken supporter of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion.

What we do know is that, in Louisiana, the bill would kill the expansion of Medicaid that has brought health care to more than 425,000 residents-with 51,000 of those people living right here in New Orleans. Under the Senate bill, tax credits would be based primarily on age as well as income and geography.

McCain told a town hall on Thursday that he wants to hear from Arizona health-care providers, legislators and Gov. Doug Ducey before he makes up his mind on the proposed bill. But he said "it's going to be very hard to get me to a "yes" on the bill.

"Well they are also four good guys and they are four friends of mine - I think that they'll probably get there but we'll have to wait and see", said President Donald Trump while on 'Fox & Friends'.

In a visit to his home state Capitol Friday, Pennsylvania's senior US Senator Bob Casey called the bill "obscene".

However, Senate Republicans' bill would make deep cuts to Medicaid, rolling back Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and transforming federal Medicaid payments to the states into per capita reimbursements, the rates of rich would get smaller and smaller through 2025, or block grants. The current bill does not repeal Obamacare. The bill also makes major cuts and structural changes to Medicaid, a health insurance program relied upon by almost 75 million Americans - primarily low-income, disabled, and elderly.

The Senate Bill, however, will allow insurers to provide less than needed coverage in states that get waivers for essential health benefits.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which represents health insurers covering more than 100 million people in the USA, said it will continue to push for a replacement for Obamacare's coverage requirement as well. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the Senate measure is expected in the next few days.

  • Larry Hoffman