Culture

It's 'not a health care bill'

The long-awaited plan marks a big step towards achieving one of the Republican party's major goals. When Trump stupidly referred to the House bill as "mean", he was nearly certainly referring to the provision in that measure that lets insurers charge higher premiums to those with preexisting conditions in states that have received a waiver from the federal government. The Senate bill attempts to manage this instability by buying off health insurance companies with payments that Republicans previously argued were illegal and should be stopped. It also eliminates Obamacare's health insurance mandate. This is a budget gimmick to ensure that the bill complies with Senate rules that forbid the legislation from adding to the federal government's long-term debt.

The BCRA also requires new mothers, starting October 2017, to return to work 60 days after giving birth or risk losing their Medicaid coverage. Co-authored by Congressman Chris Collins on the house side, the Medicaid piece is created to alleviate the property tax burden in counties across the state. But it preserves a key element of Obamacare, which allows parents to cover children under their plan until age 26.

That increased the pressure on Senate Republicans to keep Obamacare's preexisting condition "protection".

Obamacare's ban on denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions is why the exchanges are slowly imploding. "This legislation will result in millions of Americans losing their health care".

Senate Republicans have rolled out their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, following several closed-door sessions.

Beginning in 2020, the Senate measure would also limit the federal funds states get each year for Medicaid. They'd like to get certain changes.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, came out against the bill, saying the cuts to Medicaid and tax eliminations would benefit wealthy individuals at the cost of hurting others.

Some of the cuts to Medicaid would be used to offset tax cuts for people making more than $250-thousand, which is less than 3% of the people living in Colorado. And, today, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and three other Republicans said they oppose it as written.

- Senate Republicans are aiming for a final vote next Thursday, before lawmakers leave town for the weeklong July 4th recess.

Rocky Nichols, executive director of the Kansas Disability Rights Center, said the cuts would affect people who had Medicaid long before the Affordable Care Act expanded it, even in states like Missouri and Kansas that didn't participate in the expansion.

Lisa Desjardins begins our coverage.

That means Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only lose two Republican votes in order to pass the bill. They said the bill falls short, missing "the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health-care costs".

What will happen to costs for low-income people?

Avik Roy is a physician and founder of the conservative Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity.

The Senate would provide $50 billion over the next four years that states could use in an effort to shore up insurance markets around the country.



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