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Senate Republicans Reveal Health Care Bill

22 Juin 2017

The unveiling of the legislation will mark the first time that the majority of the Senate GOP conference gets a comprehensive look at the health care proposal.

"If Republicans are not going to allow debate on their bill on the floor or in committee, Democrats will make opportunities to debate", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor, per NPR. "If we are to answer to the American people, it is imperative we pay close attention to the legislation we pass". That might satisfy Republican senators from states that expanded their programs, but conservatives have wanted to halt the extra expenditures quickly.

Grassley also told reporters that big social reforms result from bipartisanship and the Affordable Care Act was partisan. "I want to make sure that my constituents have enough time to provide input". Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, told CNN on Wednesday. Thousands of times. And candidate Donald Trump promised us plenty.

Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington said in a statement that leaked details of the bill indicated it was "every bit as devastating for families' bank accounts and healthcare coverage as the disastrous bill that passed in the House". "No, I don't like it", said Representative Mario Diaz-Balart. "A plan with heart, but Obamacare is dead".

The Senate bill is expected to follow the template laid out in the House version, which narrowly passed last month, but with key differences. More than half a dozen GOP senators have expressed problems with the measure, and a defeat would be a humiliating setback for Trump and McConnell on one of their party's top priorities.

Those subsidies are expected to be linked to recipients' income, a "major improvement" from a healthcare overhaul bill passed in the House of Representatives that tied them exclusively to age, Republican senator Susan Collins said on Wednesday.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), however, said GOP lawmakers were looking at ways to get around that. But negotiations have been plagued from the start by tensions between moderates and conservatives.

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The legislation will also have to undergo parliamentary scrutiny to ensure that it meets the strict requirements on what can or can't be included in a bill under the budget reconciliation process.

About 23 million people could lose coverage under the House plan, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. In the past weeks, McConnell's office has taken the lead drafting the bill.

The Senate bill would give states more leeway in opting out of the ACA's insurance regulations through expanding the use of so-called "1332" waivers already embedded within the law. This is a concession to moderates, who weren't pleased that the House version would end the enhanced support for new enrollees in 2020. Either way, the growth rate would not be fixed, and there is typically a significant variance in the annual cost increase of Medicaid in each state.

Before today, all that was officially known about what the Senate health bill covers, is that it covers transparency. Like the House bill, you see, it would reportedly turn Medicaid from an open-ended program that grows as needed to one that's capped on a per capita basis and only grows according to inflation. The AHCA used age rather than income to calculate subsidies.

McConnell maintains a slim majority in the Senate.

The Washington Post, in its own report, said a draft of the bill would reduce the maximum amount of money people could earn to qualify for individual plan premium subsidies from 400 percent of the federal poverty level to 350 percent. That's a change from the House bill, which drew criticism from health policy experts who said a repeal of community rating would allow insurers to charge people with preexisting conditions more.

The bill would also aim to shore up the existing Obamacare market by allocating funds for the cost-sharing subsidies until 2019.