Budget office sees 22 million fewer covered with Senate bill

Author

27 June, 2017

McConnell can lose only two of the 52 GOP senators to move onto the legislation.

In the end, McConnell's closed-door machinations produced a bill no better than the reckless effort of House Republicans, which the CBO predicted would cause 23 million to lose health insurance over the next decade.

As with the House version of the bill, the Senate version allows insurance companies to charge older Americans significantly more than they do now for insurance.

Several Republican senators had already signalled before the CBO report came out that they would not support a the health care repeal bill, plunging the viability of the Senate's attempts into doubt.

Several GOP senators said they wanted to see their bill cover more people than the House version. The North Carolina Justice Center is working feverishly to persuade undecided lawmakers to vote no.

CBO said that under the bill, most insurance markets around the country would be stable before 2020. What we're afraid of is it's going to cut eligibility. Of the 22 million people losing health coverage, 15 million would be Medicaid recipients. "The Republican health reform bills would increase that death toll".

Rebellious Republican senators are forcing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to scramble to rescue the party's health care bill before debate even begins.

Republicans view Obamacare as costly government intrusion and say that individual insurance markets are collapsing. The House approved its legislation in May.

In addition to higher deductibles and less coverage, about half the USA population could also face costs for "essential health benefits" if their state decides to exercise its right under the BCRA to waive the current law's requirements on certain benefits that all health insurers must now provide.

The bill passed the Assembly on a 61-36 vote last week, with all Democrats against it and all but one Republican in favor.

It would also phase out extra federal money that law is providing to 31 states to expand Medicaid to additional low-income earners.

Perhaps most notably, the bill includes deep cuts to Medicaid, a public health insurance program that covers almost one in five Americans, including low-income, disabled and elderly people. On Monday, the National Association of Medicaid Directors, a nonpartisan group that represents state administrators of the program, said in a statement from its board that the legislation is unworkable, and called it "a transfer of risk, responsibility, and cost.of historic proportions". McConnell is expected to offer other changes to his proposal as he seeks to nail down support for the package. On the other hand, four conservatives have said they oppose the current version of the bill for not doing enough to reduce premiums.

Murkowski has not taken a position but has also expressed concerns about the impacts on a rural, Medicaid-dependent population, as well as funding cuts to Planned Parenthood. None of the dissident senators have ruled out supporting the legislation if it is revised. It sets aside 1.5 percent of Oregon Lottery funds for veterans services such as housing, health care, education and assistance accessing benefits. "They're trying to jam this thing through". Johnson said of the short-term premium increase. The supposed virtue of the Republican plan is that it gives states more direct control over how Medicaid is administered. But she said it will be "extremely difficult" for the White House to be able to find a narrow path to attract both conservatives and moderates. Heller faces a competitive re-election race next year. The new report was expected as early as Monday. By changing the way that federal government calculates the cost of Medicaid starting in 2025, the Senate bill ensures that the bulk of the coverage losses in their bill will happen outside the CBO's 10-year window of analysis. But President Donald Trump had promised not to cut the health program for seniors. "All they do is delay and complain.They own ObamaCare!"

Sens. Rob Portman of OH and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia are generally reliable votes for GOP leadership. Spokesperson Sean Spicer said on Monday that Trump had talked over the weekend to Cruz, Paul and Johnson, as well as some others. So a policy could still cover your visit to the hospital to deliver your new baby, but if there is difficulty - say the newborn is premature or needs to stay in the NICU - you may have to go out of pocket because your insurer has placed a cap on how much it will spend to cover that care.


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