GOP Weighs Nearly Unprecedented Move to Pass Health Care Bill

Gladys Abbott
July 16, 2017

Ted Cruz, anyone who is not youthful and naturally healthy will see premiums rise while what is covered in those plans will shrink. If the Senate's version passes, the decision whether or not to protect our state's 2.2 million Medicaid recipients would return to the House-putting my patients' lives in the hands of Congress members who are not from our communities and who appear to have either minimal appreciation of the health challenges we face, or who simply prioritize politics over people. It reinstitutes lifetime coverage caps for insurers, which will leave people exposed to medical bankruptcy.

The BCRA, it said, features severe cuts to Medicaid benefits that would threaten access to mental health services for those who rely on them. "And so they're making adjustments around the edges, but directionality they're doing the same things we did", he said.

If the current Senate legislation collapses, some lawmakers have raised the possibility of seeking bipartisan legislation to fix parts of Obamacare but leaving intact the structure of the Affordable Care Act, Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement, commonly known as Obamacare.

Also, the Senate bill would shrink the program even more over time by pegging the annual growth rate of those funds to standard inflation, rather than the more generous medical inflation, starting in 2025. The Cruz amendment would worsen the situation, the executive said.

In an interview last month with Bloomberg, Murkowski insisted that she wouldn't be swayed by any effort to buy her off if she still opposed the overall bill. The hundreds of billions that will be taken away from Medicaid will offset these taxes.

What's the connection? Perhaps America's opioid epidemic plays a role: Sears said she's heard hundreds of stories of Ohioans struggling with addiction who were able to return to the workforce after getting treatment paid for by Medicaid.

Right now, as Vox's Dylan Scott explains, Senate Republicans can afford to lose zero additional votes on their health care bill. And the McConnell bill also creates another industry giveaway, a $70 billion account to shore up insurers against the economic turbulence the rest of this bill will create. They are: a 3.8 percent tax on net investment income for individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000; and an 0.9 percent surtax for the Medicare insurance program for the elderly on people with those incomes. A midlevel plan in the state's Obamacare marketplace cost $905 in 2017 - partly because Alaska's isolation makes it hard to get patients to specialty doctors, and partly because such a large percentage of its population uses health insurance provided through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In this context, it is important that policymakers avoid policies that threaten to further increase uncertainty or threaten stability.

The Senate revised its health care plan this week in hopes of mollifying lawmakers anxious that the legislation would hurt their constituents.

GOP Weighs Nearly Unprecedented Move to Pass Health Care Bill

This isn't Bernie Sanders; this is the insurance lobby. The provision is meant to stop people from waiting until getting ill to buy health insurance because insurers need to have lots of healthy people obtaining policies to offset the expense of care for sick people. How that will happen, when the GOP wrote this bill in secret and ducked meetings with their constituents is anybody's guess.

Close the Gap Idaho, a broad coalition of health care providers, charities, advocates and others, has released a statement strongly opposing the new Senate GOP health care bill unveiled this week, the Better Care Reconciliation Act or BCRA.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid - a federally funded, state-administered health insurance program for low-income individuals - was expanded in 31 states and the District of Columbia, providing new coverage to millions.

A health care proposal from Senate conservatives would let insurers sell skimpy policies provided they also offer a comprehensive plan.

What comes next in this process?

Responding to he latest iteration of the bill HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy said, "Today, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell released a new draft that would still rip health care from millions of people, with a particularly devastating impact on low-income senior citizens, women, children, LGBTQ people, and people living with HIV".

McConnell, R-Ky., refashioned the legislation to attract GOP votes, two weeks after retreating on an initial version that would have died for lack of Republican support.

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