Schumer: Senate Health Care Bill 'Even Meaner' Than House Proposal

Conservatives like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., have warned they could oppose the bill if it doesn't go far enough in dismantling Obama's law.

One of the main features of Obamacare, was its requirement that most people purchase health insurance. Consumers purchasing coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplace would get less-generous tax credits, tax penalties would no longer apply when people don't buy insurance and larger companies don't offer it to their employees.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that the new Republican bill was "every bit as bad as the House bill" and "even worse" in some ways.

Should this bill pass and become the law of the land, Obama said that billionaires and corporations would be the biggest winners. "Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo". There's not much time, either: with McConnell pushing for a vote next week, senators have just a handful of days to decide whether to support or vote against the bill.

After spending seven years promising to repeal President Barack Obama's signature health care law - and winning elections in part on that promise - Republicans are under intense pressure to deliver.

Schumer says, "We live in the wealthiest country on earth".

"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", the senators wrote in a joint statement. In fact, there may be divisions within GOP Senate ranks with conservative members wanting a fuller withdrawal from health care and moderates favoring less damage. Instead of the traditional process of committee hearings and debate, the 142-page bill was written with only a select group of Republican senators privy to negotiations about what could spark the most politically contentious vote before the midterm elections in 18 months. Trump recently told senators that the House bill was "mean", though weeks earlier he had celebrated its passage.

At the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump expressed hope for quick action. In addition, employers are almost six times more likely to maintain contraceptive coverage at that 100 percent than they are to reduce it: 59 percent versus 11 percent.

Ending Obama's expansion has caused major rifts among GOP senators.

Beginning in 2020, the Senate measure would also limit the federal funds states get each year for Medicaid.

Also, the plan would make subsidies available for people in non-expansion states, including Florida, who now make too little money to qualify for Obamacare subsidies but too much to qualify for regular Medicaid, Caldwall noted.

Legislators who disagreed on expansion appear united in their concern that legislation approved by the House of Representatives and proposed by the Senate would undo a 52-year-old bargain between the USA government and states to share the costs of providing health care to categories of the neediest citizens. The new bill would change the payouts but keep numerous subsidies, and Paul said he believes it would end up costing more than Obamacare next year.

Pearson said those subsidies will be smaller than under current law. Income-based subsidies help with premiums and with out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles and copayments.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said that she is going to look closely at the Medicaid portion of the bill, which she'd like to ensure covers the people who need it in her state.

Obama law: Requires all insurance plans to cover services from 10 broad "essential services", including hospitalization, office visits, prescriptions, maternity and childbirth, substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation, and preventive services, including birth control at no additional charge for women. A Reuters/Ipsos poll this month found almost 60 percent of adults believed the House bill would make insurance costlier for low-income Americans and people with pre-existing conditions.

Planned Parenthood: As in the House bill, it would defund Planned Parenthood for one year. Many Republicans have long fought that organization because it provides abortions.

The Senate bill would provide $50 billion to help stabilize insurance markets and hold down premiums from 2018 through 2021.

The Senate bill largely uses people's incomes as the yardstick for helping those without workplace coverage to buy private insurance.

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