Obama on Senate bill: It's 'not a health care bill'

Posted June 24, 2017

Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is among four Republican senators who say they're not ready to vote for the Affordable Care Act replacement bill being pushed by GOP leaders, putting the plan in jeopardy.

Angry protesters demonstrated outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office after he revealed details of the Senate plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

"We have to act", Senator McConnell said. Each move he makes to one of the two sides risks losing support from the other. The other lawmakers have been seen as more likely to get to "yes, ". Calling the GOP leadership's bill "a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America", he called on Americans to push back against congressional Republicans.

"This bill is really, really harmful for low income individuals", says Janel George, director of federal reproductive rights and health at the National Women's Law Center.

States could not get exemptions to Obama's prohibition against charging higher premiums for some people with pre-existing medical conditions, but the subsidies would be lower, making coverage less affordable, Pearson said.

"It doesn't protect Nevadans on Medicaid and the most vulnerable Nevadans", Heller said at a news conference in Las Vegas.

Democrats have blasted the Senate bill, with some calling it "meaner".

Mr McConnell has only a thin margin of error: The bill would fail if just three of the Senate's 52 GOP senators oppose it. A number of states, including SC, declined to expand Medicaid to provide Obamacare to a larger clientele. Washington will pay 90% of the extra costs for these Medicaid clients the first year and 80% every year after.

In Kentucky, five companies that sold insurance on Kentucky's health exchange in 2016 pulled out of the program for 2017. It would be wiser to leave some of those taxes in place to reduce health care's budget-busting impacts and make an eventual Republican health care a program fiscally functional. Unless the state steps in with substantially more funding - possibly $30 billion or more by 2027, compared to $24 billion under the House bill - many would lose coverage.

The Republican plans pay for themselves partially through cuts to Medicaid, particularly areas in which that program was expanded by Obamacare.

Conservatives want to kill Medicaid and let the states use money from block grants to fund health care for the poor. As such, it does not fix the problems with the Obamacare exchanges. The Senate bill would repeal the tax in 2018 - a year later than the House bill.

Democrats said the bill would result in skimpier policies and higher out-of-pocket costs for many people and erode gains made under Obama that saw roughly 20 million more Americans gain coverage.

PEARSON: The Medicaid cuts are even more draconian than the House bill was, though they take effect more gradually than the House bill did.