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The Senate health bill is out. Here's your speed read

The provision - approved in the House bill last month - would ban the use of federal tax credits to help Americans purchase insurance plans that include abortion coverage.

"We write to express our serious concerns regarding recent reports suggesting that the Senate's efforts to produce a reconciliation bill repealing the Affordable Care Act are headed in a direction that may jeopardize final passage in the House of Representatives", stated the letter, addressed to McConnell, R-Ky., who plans to introduce the Senate's health care plan this week.

The healthcare bill will be released to the Republican Senate Conference on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT) and posted online, Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming and Bob Corker of Tennessee told reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday.

He cited Alaska's high cost of insurance, rising premiums and one insurer still operating in the state.

The Republican bill would provide $50 billion through 2021 as a short-term measure, but a separate pot of money would provide another $62 billion from 2019 through 2026, the draft said.

The third component is that the bill "repeals the new taxes" created by ObamaCare in the "most expeditious manner possible". Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said GOP senators will be briefed on the emerging bill Wednesday and he expects to see the legislation the next day, about a week before a vote occurs.

To help pay for its expanded coverage to around 20 million more people, Obama's law increased taxes on higher income people, medical industry companies and others, totaling around $1 trillion over a decade. While campaigning, Donald Trump promised that the GOP replacement for the ACA would cover everyone and that he would make no cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security.

GOP Senate leaders were eager to get a seal of approval from Mr. Trump, who had urged them to produce a bill more "generous" than the House's. He privately described that version as "mean", according to congressional sources.

"Many of them on the Republican side are learning the details of the bill the same way we Democrats are".

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the House bill would kick 23 million people off their healthcare plans. Many Republicans have long fought that organization because it provides abortions. Starting in 2020, under the Senate bill, this assistance would be capped for those earning up to 350 percent - but anyone below that line could get the subsidies if they're not eligible for Medicaid.

Whereas various versions of the bill Democrats wrote in 2009 and 2010 went through committees, where Republicans could offer feedback and amendments, the Senate has held no hearings and no committee votes on the bill the Republicans are writing.

"The Senate Republicans have now put themselves in a real vise", Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of OR told CNN on Thursday.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the floor Wednesday that this time, the GOP is drafting the bill in secret and allowing only 10 hours of floor debate.



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