After much secrecy, Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans revealed their updated version of the AHCA today. As McConnell pushes for a vote before the summer recess, a few Republican Senators say the bill does not go far enough to dismantle Obamacare and therefore will not vote to pass it. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats appear united in their opposition to it.
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Snippets from the Left
"After weeks of secret, backroom negotiating in which lobbyists seem to have played a much bigger role than either senators or health care experts, Mitch McConnell is ready to release his version of Trumpcare Thursday morning—a "discussion draft"—the first step in a rushed process to get it to the floor by next Thursday. As with the House bill, the primary feature of it is that it will destroy Medicaid to provide those big tax cuts to the rich.
[I]t will take a little bit longer to get rid of Medicaid expansion, but the cuts to the program will be larger and the program will shrink significantly, with millions of children, blind and disabled people, and seniors in nursing homes in jeopardy. This, by the way, it the first step in "entitlement reform"—they get it done with Medicaid and they have a blueprint for going after Social Security and Medicare.
To make insurers happy, at least for a year and a half, the draft would continue the cost-sharing reimbursements that have been subject to so much sabotage from Trump—but only through 2019. It would provide tax credits in place of the Affordable Care Act's direct subsidies, like the House bill, but would base them on income as well as age whereas the House bill based them just on age."
Snippets from the Right
"Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says he and three other GOP senators oppose the health bill as written, putting passage in jeopardy. [They] expressed concerns that the measure doesn't go far enough in dismantling Obama's signature health care law.
'Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor,' they said in a joint statement said.
[I]t would provide tax credits based on income, making more funds available to lower-income recipients. Tax credits under the House-approved bill were tied to people's ages, something the Congressional Budget Office said would drive up out-of-pocket costs for many lower earners.
With the Capitol Hill battle over health care ratcheting up, President Donald Trump called Democrats 'obstructionists' at an Iowa rally Wednesday.
'If we went and got the single greatest health care plan in the history of the world we would not get one Democrat vote because they're obstructionists. They're obstructionists,' he charged.”
Snippets from the Center
"The broad contours of the plan — which would tear down large parts of the 2010 health law, cap one of the nation’s biggest entitlement programs and overhaul one-sixth of the U.S. economy — have come into focus in recent days.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing for a vote as early as next Thursday, ahead of Congress’ July 4 recess and before more opposition can mount.
Cruz is pushing for an amendment to allow catastrophic, low premium plans, but it's not clear if the parliamentarian will allow them, according to Republicans.
Since Senate Democrats are unified in their resistance, Republicans are using a fast-track process that can evade filibusters. But they can only afford two defections and still maintain the thin majority needed to pass the repeal bill.
When asked if the Senate plan has enough heart at a White House event Thursday, President Donald Trump replied, 'A little negotiation, but it's going to be very good.'"
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