Health care is lifeline for many

Connecticut Medicaid Patients Likely To Lose Care Under Federal Health Bill
What We're Reading: Senators React to Health Bill; Opioid Funding; Humana Leaves Individual Market
Author

26 June, 2017

And if it were the greatest bill ever proposed in mankind, we wouldn't get a vote and that's a awful thing. A fourth said he anxious the process was rushed.

Health insurers rallied after the Senate Republicans released a draft Bill to replace Obamacare, with expansion of Medicaid being seen as one of the most encouraging moves.

Health care is one of the "pillars" of economic development that prospective businesses look for, Canary said, along with education and infrastructure.

Thursday, Senate Republicans revealed their approach to repealing and replacing the Obama administration's signature health care initiative, the Affordable Care Act.

Echoing the other four, Heller said he opposes the measure "in this form" but does not rule out backing a version that is changed to his liking.

And since May, support among Republicans for the House bill has dropped from 67 percent to 56 percent.

Besides the five who've announced outright opposition, several other GOP senators - conservatives and moderates - have declined to commit to the new overhaul.

It "would have a profoundly negative impact on Americans", said John Meigs, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The estimate was released Friday by Arizona's Medicaid agency, which analyzed the effects of the legislation on the state health insurance program for low-income people.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to the media about the Senate Republican health care bill proposal on Thursday. The Senate bill would tighten the eligibility criteria for premium subsidies starting in 2020, shutting out more middle class folks from government help. Because the public doesn't much like the idea of people with "pre-existing conditions" facing higher premiums than relatively healthy people. Proposed caps on federal payments for Medicaid would shift cost increases to the state, undermining our ability to deal with emergencies like Zika or the opioid crisis.

Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal government and the states and the Republican bills would impose limits on the federal dollars for the first time.

"I can not support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Nevadans", Heller said.

The Senate bill would allow Medicaid funding extended under the ACA to remain in place through 2021, a year longer than the House version of the bill. He said leaders were well aware of the policy priorities he has been pushing for the bill for many months. "I think they'll get some points".

Mr. Kasich, a Republican, said he has "deep concerns" with the bill and condemned its secret drafting process. It would be politically hard for Heller to take a different stance on the measure from the popular Sandoval.

Jawanda Mast, a disability advocate from Olathe whose daughter has Down syndrome, said she had been contacted by one of Moran's staff members to get her thoughts on the bill and had asked him to "be our champion now and vote "no" to this bill that will be devastating for those with disabilities". And the Democrats have said none of them will support this.

Underscoring the sensitivity of the bill, Sen. We reached her in Aspen, Colo., where she's attending a conference.

Additionally, about 20 percent of Medicaid spending goes to provide nursing home care, including for middle-class seniors whose savings have been exhausted - a situation nearly any of us might confront.

The Republican senator told reporters Friday, "I wouldn't say they are losing it". Iowa opted to expand, and has added more than 150,000 people to its rolls since 2014. The Senate parliamentarian will make that decision.

Medicaid - not to be confused with Medicare, the health insurance program for older Americans - covers roughly 70 million low-income people, pregnant women, disabled people and the elderly.

Realizing they're outnumbered, Democrats and their liberal allies were planning events around the USA over the next few days aimed at building public opposition to the bill. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and MoveOn.org were planning weekend rallies in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Heller is the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition.

Regina Garcia Cano reported from Las Vegas.


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