Senate GOP releases health care bill to cut Medicaid, dismantle 'Obamacare'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally unwrapped his plan for dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law. Indeed, one could imagine that, back in 2009, if the Republicans had attempted to modify rather than defeat the ACA, this is the kind of amendment they would have offered.

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.

The American Health Care Act, passed by the House of Representatives, would take health care away from 23 million Americans, including 777,000 Pennsylvanians.

It would be irresponsible to pass the Senate bill without finding some way to fix this problem.

First, the Senate's plan would shift the calculation for subsidies. The federal-state program provides health care to the poor, disabled and many nursing home patients. "They would also cap it at a lower percentage of the federal poverty level".

"[The Senate bill] would phase out the expansion of Medicaid that lots of states signed onto to give more people health care, beginning in 2020, and make deeper cuts after that", says Zwillich. More than two-fifths of those with improved coverage from the ACA are from rural communities, and that's helped keep our struggling rural hospitals afloat by reducing costs for uncompensated care. "Without health insurance, people must often choose between putting food on the table and receiving the medical care they need".

Instead of enrolling childless adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level, nearly entirely at federal expense, Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature limited Medicaid coverage to adults at or below the poverty line.

House Republicans are also fearful that under Senate rules, key anti-abortion provisions in the Senate bill may be ruled out of order and will be taken out. Since its passage in 2010, Republicans have campaigned on repealing the program and argued that the law is too costly and represents undue government interference in Americans' healthcare. In his post, he appealed to the emotions of the Senate Republicans asking them to ask themselves "what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction... pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long term care?" And the more expensive it is, the sicker the people who want to buy it will be. Also, pure tax reform.

Heller's decision to vote against the GOP plan could anger conservative Republicans in the state. The block grant would run for a minimum of five years and would be indexed to the CPI after the first year.

"I would say [the Senate version is] at least as bad as the old House one - maybe worse, depending on where it goes from here", Schoettes said "It will kill people - that's not hyperbole".

"You have to protect Medicaid expansion states". Here's a breakdown of the percentage of federal funding each state receives, with those in dark blue receiving the most support. "The Senate draft provides funds to work on 1332 waivers and provides fast-track options". And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, can not change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

As insurance companies do not allow people to purchase life insurance when they are lying on their death bed, they similarly would not sell health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions unless required to do so.

The effect of the proposed legislation on insurance enrollment is not yet clear. That would focus the aid more on people with lower incomes than the House legislation, which bases its subsidies on age. On the other hand, the BCRA does not include any provision requiring individuals to obtain health insurance.

"It appears that the proposed bill will dramatically reduce coverage and will negatively impact our future state budgets", he said in an emailed statement.

"The Planned Parenthood (defunding) can't come out" if the Senate expects House conservatives to remain on board, Jordan said: "That's for darn sure".

Bread for the World, a social welfare organization of Christians that advocates for the ending of hunger in the USA and overseas, was also critical of the Senate bill's changes to Medicaid, saying it will increase hunger and poverty domestically.

  • Salvatore Jensen