Senate Republicans unveil revised health care bill

Gwen Vasquez
July 14, 2017

Rand Paul of Kentucky said he wouldn't even support the motion to debate the bill on the floor.

The revised draft was presented to Republican senators at a closed meeting Thursday morning. Paul is conservative. Collins is moderate.

Moderate Sen. Susan Collins of ME told reporters she had informed McConnell she would be voting against beginning debate on the bill, citing in part cuts in the Medicaid health program for the poor and disabled. Sen.

Aside from a few tweaks, those brutal Medicaid cuts are still part of the plan - and yes, they are cuts, despite desperate Republican attempts to pretend that they aren't. “Will vote no on” motion to proceed to the bill. McConnell has sought to pass a bill with only Republican support, but he has struggled to secure the 50 Republican votes he needs. Such a fundamental change to Medicaid should have a full set of legislative hearings, she explained. Even fully repealing the ACA would not cap spending for Medicaid in the way the Senate bill is proposing.

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

While Alaska expanded Medicaid in 2015, some other states did not.

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

According to the poll, 54% of Republican voters surveyed said members of their party should work with Democrats to pass a healthcare reform bill, while just 39% said only Republicans should work together.

Conservative Republicans, such as Sen. 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).

How Does The Senate Health Plan Affect You?

The new Senate bill is meant to woo lawmakers from rival conservative and moderate Republican factions, and reassure those who fear that repealing Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act - a longstanding goal for the party - could adversely impact millions of Americans.

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Another change in the revised legislation would benefit states that didn't expand Medicaid under Obamacare, many of which are Republican-led.

“Theres money, ” Collins told reporters, “but too many uses for that money.”.

Democrats remained steadfastly opposed to the measure. But strict rules govern what can and cannot be included in such a “budget reconciliation” bill.

"Keeping most of the Obamacare regulations" - check.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office hasn't yet analyzed the new bill.

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

The latest version of the proposal is similar to the first bill aimed at replacing former President Barack Obama's health care law; Medicaid expansion would begin being scaled back in 2021. That would be likely to produce a number more favorable to Republicans.

Democrats saw that option as a partisan play by Republicans.

"It's in the best shape it's been in so far", said Sen.

But Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called the discussion of single payer "irrelevant" to the ongoing talks to repeal, given that no Democrats are involved in the talks.

Whatever the Senate produces must be acceptable to a majority of the House, or else the two chambers could get bogged down in weeks or months of negotiations. Overall, however, 47% of Americans surveyed said the Republicans should move onto other issues, while 40% want them to continue to focus on repealing and replacing Obamacare. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. “This legislation, while far from flawless, would fulfill the vast majority of those promises.”.

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