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US Senate Healthcare Bill to Cut Back on Medicaid Expansions

22 Juin 2017

An exact reason for the secretive meetings or discussions between Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, has not been fully explained, but one nonprofit group alleged one motive: political campaign contributions. The healthcare bill will be released to the Republican Senate Conference on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT) and posted online, Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming and Bob Corker of Tennessee told reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday. John Thune, R-S.D., and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks following a closed-door strategy session, at the Ca.

Although GOP lawmakers have faced criticism for debating the health care bill behind closed doors, Barrasso argued that there will be "plenty of opportunity" for public discussion of the bill, citing an "open amendment" process on the Senate floor.

The bill would also provide health care tax credits linked to people's incomes - not their ages, like the House measure - and would provide billions for a fund for states to keep insurers from fleeing their markets.

Our two Democratic Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, can be counted on to vote against it, but they may not get enough Republicans to join them to stop this train wreck.

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The Senate proposal is expected to cut back the expansion of Medicaid, the government program for the poor, and reduce subsidies to people buying private insurance.

The chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee said Wednesday that Republicans are fine-tuning the specifics of the Senate health care bill, one week before a vote is scheduled on the legislation. "In a tweet on Wednesday, McConnell's team said the "@SenateGOP has been active & engaged on how to move beyond failures of #Obamacare & we're focused on following". Given the opposition of all Senate Democrats to repealing Obamacare, Republican leaders will need the support of at least 50 of the chamber's 52 Republicans to ensure passage. In addition, a growing number of Republicans are frustrated with the process, saying they apparently will have just a few days to study the draft before being forced to vote on a major piece of legislation. Like the House bill, the Senate plan would repeal or delay many of those tax boosts. "I'd find it hard to believe we'll have enough time", he said, adding that if he did not get enough information, "I won't be voting yes". That bill, known as the American Health Care Act, is broadly unpopular with the general public, and was estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to result in 23 million more people without health insurance if it became law.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and other GOP senators from states that expanded Medicaid were still battling to prolong the phase-out of that money to seven years. Moderates including Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, have expressed concern that the measure would cause many to lose coverage.