Senate Republicans Unveil ACA Repeal Bill and Conservative Senators Continue Negotiations

June 23, 2017

 

 
 

The New York Times  (6/22, Pear, Kaplan, Subscription Publication) reports that on Thursday, Senate Republicans “took a major step” towards their goal of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act by “unveiling a bill to cut Medicaid deeply and end the health law’s mandate that most Americans have health insurance.” The measure “would create a new system of federal tax credits to help people buy health insurance, while offering states the ability to drop many of the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, like maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment.” The article says that although GOP senators had promised their ACA repeal bill would significantly modify the American Health Care Act which the House passed last month, the proposal which was put forward maintains the AHCA’s “structure, with modest adjustments.”

        USA Today  (6/22, Kelly, Collins) reports the Senate’s bill differs from the AHCA in that “it does away with a controversial House provision – which critics dubbed an ‘age tax’ – that would greatly increase costs for older Americans who need subsidies to pay for medical coverage.” In addition, the Senate’s version “would tie subsidies to income rather than age,” but this would “make it harder for people to qualify for the subsidies by tightening the income requirements.” Republican leaders are saying this bill is the party’s best option to keep conservatives’ promise to repeal and replace the ACA.

        The Wall Street Journal  (6/22, A1, Armour, Peterson, Radnofsky, Subscription Publication) reports on its front page that the bill would unwind major provisions of the ACA, such as its expansion of Medicaid. The article says Republicans are hoping to move quickly to pass an ACA repeal bill before the July 4 recess. However, some GOP lawmakers in the Senate say they are worried about some of the changes included in the measure.

        The Los Angeles Times  (6/22, Levey, Mascaro) reports that the bill includes “a drastic reduction in federal healthcare spending that threatens to leave millions more Americans uninsured, drive up costs for poor consumers and further destabilize the nation’s health insurance markets.”

 

The Los Angeles Times  (6/22, Mascaro) reports that on Thursday, Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Mike Lee (R-UT), four conservatives, “jointly announced their opposition to the GOP’s draft Obamacare repeal bill...setting the stage for an intense political showdown ahead of next week’s vote.” The lawmakers said that for several “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 Washington Times  (6/22, Howell) reports that the four senators stated, “There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.” The article explains that the GOP has 52 seats in the Senate, which means it cannot afford to lose more than two votes if it wants the ACA repeal bill to pass.

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