Capito reviewing health care bill with 'serious concerns'

Joan Terry
July 14, 2017

The revised draft was presented to Republican senators at a closed meeting Thursday morning. That came as members said they anxious about the optics of cutting taxes for the rich while also slashing funding for subsidies that go to help low-income people to buy insurance. Paul is conservative. Collins is moderate. Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Rand Paul of Kentucky said Thursday they do not support the current legislation. They have all voiced deep concerns with the cuts coming to Medicaid. “Will vote no on” motion to proceed to the bill.

On Thursday at 11:30 a.m., Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will unveil the fourth version of the healthcare bill to his Republican colleagues, with hopes of a vote by the end of next week.

The test is whether leadership can convince those holdouts to get on board now in order to even begin debate on the bill.

Asked if she was upset by how the process unfolded, she said "yes".

The ACA expanded Medicaid, but the Senate changes would cut it back well beyond that expansion.

Questioned by reporters Thursday, Murkowski said she needed to read the bill before she decides how she'll vote.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, tweeted Wednesday that one of his priorities for changing the bill involved increasing those funds for hospitals in his state.

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The CBO is reportedly analyzing not one but two separate Trumpcare bills: one with, and one without, a proposed amendment from Cruz and fellow conservative Mike Lee of Utah. Cruz touted after the meeting that the legislation includes provisions to allow people to use tax-preferred health savings accounts to pay insurance premiums (which are now banned). It would also allow anyone to purchase a plan that covers only catastrophic health expenses (which the ACA limits to those under age 30) and permit insurers to offer plans that do not conform to numerous regulations in current law. Those rules include the ACAs requirements for coverage of specific health benefits as well as bans on insurers charging sick people more and limiting out-of-pocket costs.

How Does The Senate Health Plan Affect You?

In fact, in this month's poll more Republicans said health care is headed in the right direction than believed that in April, before the House passed its version of the health care replacement bill.

In their revision, Senate leaders tried to blunt the charge that the GOP wants to cut poor people's health care to fund tax cuts for the rich. Taxes on wealthy people's investment income were indeed maintained. "But I think we're going to have something that's really good and that people are going to like".

Democrats remained steadfastly opposed to the measure. And if GOP senators want to kill this bill, they will want to kill it at this procedural still, which would spare them a painful and drawn-out vote-a-rama filled with Democratic amendments and a series of politically harmful votes. But strict rules govern what can and cannot be included in such a “budget reconciliation” bill. Cassidy and Lindsey Graham of SC proposed an alternative approach to replacing Obamacare that would keep much of the federal taxes in place and sending that money to the states to control.

An analysis by the non-profit Congressional Budget Office forecast that under the bill, ranks of the uninsured would swell by 22 million people by 2026 compared to current law.

The most important change in the bill, however, is the way it would effectively gut protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Other reports by BadHub

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