CBO delays analysis of latest health care bill

Vincent Carr
July 17, 2017

"It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people now enrolled in the individual market", America's Health Insurance Plans and the BlueCross BlueShield Association wrote in a joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Charles Schumer.

McConnell had said he wanted to begin debate on the bill and pass it this week, using special fast-track procedures.

The news about McCain came a few hours after President Trump had used his Saturday radio address to again put public pressure on reluctant GOP Senators to support the Republican health care bill.

Aides to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said it was unclear how long the delay would last. "Just that we will defer".

The Senate delayed a highly anticipated vote this coming week to repeal and replace the nation's health care law after Sen.

The timing of the Senate vote is crucial. Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Rand Paul of Kentucky said Thursday they do not support the current legislation.

The skimpier plans would cover less and presumably cost less, and insurers said they would also attract healthier people. McCain's ailment cost him the final vote - at least for now.

But the health care legislation was already hanging by a thread. They joined consumer groups, patient advocates, and organizations representing doctors, hospitals, drug abuse treatment centers, and religious leaders who have expressed opposition to the bill. He can't lose a single additional Republican and still get the 50 votes he needs. "He is in good spirits and recovering comfortably at home with his family", McCain's office said. John Cornyn's (R-TX) multiple misleading statements about the GOP Senate's bill, which would cost millions of Americans their health insurance.

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The Senate bill does contain an exception to allow more spending for disabled children, but Sasha Pudelski, assistant director for policy and advocacy for the school administrators association, said the definition of disabled is drawn too narrowly and schools would still take a significant hit. Zero represented "the worst health care possible", and 10 represented "the best health care possible".

The original Senate bill continues to preserve the current prohibition on insurers denying coverage to people based on their medical conditions, Critics like Families USA say mostly younger and healthier people will buy the cheaper plans, raising insurance rates to consumers with comprehensive coverage policies.

McCain has been decidedly noncommittal in his comments on the bill. "The longer the bill's out there, the more conservative Republicans are going to discover that it's not repeal", he said.

But while the suggestion could win over right-leaning holdouts before a planned vote on the legislation next week, it has alienated more moderate Republican senators like West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito and Iowa's Chuck Grassley.

Governors of both parties have sharply criticized the Senate bill, drafted mainly by McConnell.

Conservatives are hailing a proposed change to the Senate health care bill by Texas Republican Sen.Ted Cruz allowing individuals to buy low-priced, bare-bones insurance covering catastrophic medical conditions.

The insurers, and many health experts, warn that only sick people would remain in the more expensive, more generous ObamaCare plans, leading to premium spikes for people with pre-existing conditions. About half the states that expanded Medicaid now have GOP chief executives.

"Praying for a speedy recovery for my friend", said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday in a statement.

Other reports by BadHub

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