GOP Health Bill: Senate Leader Faces Battle for Support

Posted June 24, 2017

Democrats are united in opposition.

Sentiments on the new bill were fairly split among residents we spoke to on the streets, as some felt the rising premiums in the marketplace make it urgent that there be a change. "It's going to be a really tough one to make, and I don't envy whoever those people are", said Hanel.

"This is the single greatest public health emergency to face our country in many, many years, killing far more people than AIDS at the height of its epidemic in the 1990s", Weissman said.

Today Democrats copied Trump's language to attack the new legislation.

The version of the Senate bill that has finally been revealed is a mess. Even if the Senate bill reduced that damage by half, it would qualify as a calamity, if not a crime.

Obama weighed in on Facebook.

Ted Cruz Thursday said he couldn't back the bill. The reason for that is that it is not a full repeal of Obamacare.

"The chaos the Republican Party is wrecking across our health care system won't just be felt in our insurance markets but in doctor's offices, ER's and clinics across the state of in", says Myers.

Shares of hospital companies and health insurers rose on the bill's release, with the overall S&P 500 healthcare sector closing up 1.1 percent at an all-time high.

Let me just ask what took them so long and why can't we do auto insurance that way, so I can buy it after I have the accident?

Over months of often bitter debate, Republicans have struggled to craft legislation that lowers costs and reduces government involvement, while minimizing the inevitable disruptions that would come with a revamp of a sector that accounts for one-sixth of the world's largest economy.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said under the House bill, 23 million fewer people would have coverage by 2026.

"In the long run, it's no better, and in some aspects it's even worse than the House bill", said John Baackes, chief executive of L.A. Care Health Plan, a California health plan with 2 million Medicaid members who spearheaded a sharply critical letter to lawmakers arguing against Medicaid cuts earlier this week.

OBAMACARE - Requires all insurers to offer 10 categories of essential health benefits, like maternity treatment and hospital care.

Equally contentious are the tax credits to help some people pay their premiums. Dean Heller and Susan Collins have also withheld support. Income-based subsidies help with premiums and with out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and copayments. These taxpayers may also be hit with a tax surcharge of 3.8% on investment income above those thresholds.

Indiana Republican Party chairman Kyle Hupfer says the Senate legislation is all part of the GOP promise to repeal and replace the ACA.

"It shifts the cost from healthy people to sick people, it shifts the cost from younger people to older people, there's a lot of cost-shifting going on but not cost-reduction, and that's the problem", he said. Weissman said $25 billion a year would be a more effective allotment to increase the availability and affordability of addiction treatment. While the secrecy has meant that no figures have been published yet, the House version of the bill on which this one is based was estimated to leave an additional 23m people uninsured.

SENATE BILL - Preserves the subsidies through 2019, then eliminates them altogether. "A recent study found that Democrats who supported Obamacare lost about six percentage points in the vote in 2010 - a unsafe omen for the 15 sitting Republican senators who won their most recent elections by less than that number". He said GOP senators have had "many productive discussions" on the measure and added, "We have to act, and we are".

Mr. Portman's line was zig-zagging after Senate Republicans unveiled their Obamacare fix this week. "We expect the impact (of the new bill) on Medicare will be fairly minimum".

The legislation also reshapes subsidies to low-income people for private insurance. US Capitol Police said 43 protesters were arrested and charged with obstruction. Under the fast-track budget procedure known as reconciliation that the GOP is using to advance the bill, McConnell can afford only two defections, which would give him 50 votes and allow Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie.