Senate GOP releases bill to cut Medicaid, alter 'Obamacare'

Friday, 23 Jun, 2017

With Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pressing ahead for a vote next week, senators now only a handful of days to decide whether to support or vote against the bill.

In the U.S. Senate, Republicans released a draft of their health care bill Thursday. Sen. Yet overall it would do the same thing as its House counterpart: less federal money for health insurance and a greater likelihood that more Americans will be uninsured. More people need to hear stories like Katie's, and I stand with her and every Marylander who wants to improve our health care system - not destroy it. But her out-of-pocket costs, including her deductible and copays, are likely to be very high, running about $7,000, according to experts.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the second ranking member in the Senate, said the bill is "not a final product".

Almost a third of California, some 12 million people, are enrolled in Medicaid, a prime target for trimming in the Republican plan. Places a per-person limit on future federal contributions, starting in 2020.

And just because the bill was made public Thursday, it doesn't bring any sort of stability to the market in Iowa because there is still so much uncertainty surrounding the federal government's next move. Uses a less generous inflation adjustment than House bill.

GOP senators unveiled their health care plan on Thursday and it's already getting strong reaction on Capitol Hill.

Many Alaskans receive health coverage through Medicaid, a government program that helps low-income people. Based on an income of $9,500, she would have to pay only 2 percent of her earnings ($190 annually) toward plan premiums. It also makes cuts to Medicaid payments and keeps some protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told CNN that it would be "very difficult" for lawmakers to digest the bill in time for a vote next week. In a Senate speech, he said it would "eliminate costly Obamacare taxes that are passed on to consumers, so we can put downward pressure on premiums", and that it would "shift power from Washington to the states so they have more flexibility to provide more Americans with the kind of affordable insurance options they actually want".

Experts say that the devastating cuts may not harshly impact employee plans, which are expected to retain some of the law's popular provisions, even if they are not required to by a new law. It's meant to apply only to deluxe, high-premium insurance plans.

"I think it'll probably get a lot of push back from people on the right in the house", he said adding that he himself came away more "positive" than he thought he'd be. But the benchmark for subsidies would be a bare-bones "bronze" plan. Under current law, it is scheduled to take effect in 2020.

"The current bill does not repeal Obamacare".

Those subsidies are expected to be linked to recipients' income in the Senate bill, a "major improvement" from a measure approved last month by the U.S. House of Representatives that tied them exclusively to age, Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME said.

Health insurers were also trading broadly higher with large players Aetna AET.N and UnitedHealth Group UNH.N each up about 1 percent.

The legislation would also repeal the penalty associated with the employer mandate that they provide employees health insurance.

"But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite".

House GOP bill: Allows states to seek waivers from the benefits requirement. He underscored the taxes and regulations in the ACA that the GOP measure would repeal.

Termed the "Better Care Reconciliation Act", the Senate's answer to the House's efforts to repeal and replace the ACA was finally released Thursday morning after weeks of secret negotiations. However, they must collect a separate premium, strictly segregated from taxpayer funds.

Additionally, Cannon said he sees no value in subsidizing health plans that remain unaffordable for low-income plan members. Medicaid pays the bills for about two-thirds of nursing-home residents. Since reimbursement rates for Medicaid are generally lower than private insurance, cutting provider rates could restrict access to care. In that case, Senate leaders plan a workaround. But states would be allowed to waive "essential health benefits" - 10 categories of benefits such as hospitalization and prescription drugs that the Affordable Care Act required to ensure quality coverage.