After all, who else could leave 15 million more people uninsured by next year?
To pay for tax cuts and cut the deficit by an estimated $321 billion during 2016-2017 alone, the bill reduces or eliminates subsidies set up by the Affordable Care Act to help Americans buy health insurance on the individual and nongroup market. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his colleagues are determined to get rid of it.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he and his Republican colleagues in the Senate are facing “a very narrow path” in their seven-year effort to overhaul the national healthcare reforms championed by former President Barack Obama.
The highly anticipated score from the non-partisan agency will answer key questions about the impact of the Senate’s controversial legislation that was made public last Thursday.
The Congressional Budget Office’s official “score” of the Senate GOP’s Better Care Reconciliation Act came out this afternoon, and it contained largely bad news for the bill’s sponsors – though with some significant opportunities for improvements before the bill actually hits the Senate floor. Experts had warned that canceling the fine could lead to a sicker insurance pool because young and healthy people would not face consequences for failing to purchase insurance.
Republican Senators Dean Heller (R-NV), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) have voiced opposition to the Senate bill.
“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor”, those four senators said in a joint statement. The legislation expanded health coverage to some 20 million Americans, through provisions such as mandating that individuals obtain health insurance and expanding Medicaid.
They are concerned that the party’s approach to healthcare would cause too many people, especially those with low incomes, to lose health coverage.
The CBO said it would issue an assessment of the bill early this week.
The doctors’ group says the Senate bill’s Medicaid payment formulas threaten to “limit states’ ability to address the health care needs of their most vulnerable citizens” and won’t keep up with new medical innovations and epidemics such as the opioid addiction crisis.
While the Senate amendment would incentivize people to stay insured, the obvious downside is that people who lack insurance and need medicine or other treatments could go months without them while they wait. The most offensive part of the bill, to me, is the requalification of Medicaid every six months that begins in 2018, versus every year.
He can not afford to lose more than two members of his 52-seat majority and still pass a plan. The largest savings would stem from Medicaid cuts, with spending on it dropping by more than a quarter in 2026.