"The Republicans in the Senate have decided that bill wasn't cruel enough". But they had cited examples that gave the program more time than the three-year phaseout outlined Thursday by the Senate. "That in turn will make the risk pool much healthier, which will also lower premiums. "This should not be the 'better-care" bill; this should be the 'we-don't-care bill'".
But Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at the consulting firm Avalere Health, says the bill bases its tax credits on lower-quality insurance."If you're paying a similar percentage of income, you're getting a less generous product under this new plan", she says.
Congressman Brian Higgins (D-26) called the Senate GOP's plan a "pay more for less" plan.
But it then allows states to opt out of that requirement.
Like the House version, the Senate bill eliminates the "individual mandate" that people buy insurance or face fines. The Senate nixed that idea, but its bill will let states waive essentially all other Obamacare rules, including basic things insurance plans must cover - like hospitalization, maternity care and prescription drugs - as well as caps on out-of-pocket costs.
Like the U.S. House's health-care proposal, the Senate plan proposes cutting federal spending on Medicaid.
McConnell faces hunt for GOP votes for Senate health bill
Republican senators from states that expanded Medicaid, such as Ohio's Rob Portman, want to extend that phase-out to seven years. McConnell may have a tough job convincing enough Republican senators that the Senate bill improves on the House version.
"Transitioning federal Medicaid payments to a per-capita, or block grant system, and freezing Medicaid expansion would reduce the number of people with insurance and increase hospitals' exposure to bad debt and uncompensated care costs".
Some Republican senators, as well as all the Senate's Democrats, have complained about Mr McConnell's proposal, the secrecy with which he drafted it and the speed with which he would like to move it to passage. "We'd love to have some Democrats' support, but they're obstructionists", Trump said Wednesday.
"This is a bill created to strip away health care benefits and protections from Americans who need it most, in order to give a tax break to the folks who need it least", Schumer said. "It should go back to the people who paid the bill".
A vote on the bill is planned for the end of next week before lawmakers leave Washington for the July 4 recess.
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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