Senate GOP releases bill to cut Medicaid, alter 'Obamacare'

Senate GOP releases bill to cut Medicaid, alter 'Obamacare'

"Not once have I or my colleagues been asked by a single Republican to work on this bill or discuss bipartisan fixes", said Democratic Sen.

"These cuts are blood money". Like the House bill, the Senate GOP health plan effectively gets rid of the penalty for not having health insurance coverage, as it sets the penalty at $0. Overall, however, the cuts to Medicaid are deeper than those in the House bill.

According to an analysis by AP, the Republicans' health bill "cuts taxes by almost $1 trillion over the next decade, mostly for corporations and the richest families in America".

As with the House bill, the Senate proposal also allows insurance companies to charge older people five times more than younger people - under the ACA, that ratio is 3 to 1.

States such as OH, which added 680,000 people under the Medicare expansion, and Kentucky, which added 440,000 people, have been hard hit by the opioid crisis. They say in a statement that they are open to negotiation before the full Senate considers the measure.

"The Medicaid cuts are even more draconian that the House bill was, though they take effect more gradually than the House bill did", Pearson says. He and others said the measure would make health insurance more affordable and eliminate Obama coverage requirements that some people find onerous.

Former President Barack Obama, whose signature legislation is the target of GOP repeal efforts, wrote in a lengthy Facebook post that the Republican plan "is not a health care bill". That law extended the program to some low-income Americans above the poverty level.

Mendell said he suspects that the $2 billion in the Senate bill is just political "smoke and mirrors".

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The Medicaid program now covers 20 percent of all Americans, 49 percent of all births, 60 percent of all kids with disabilities, and 64 percent of all nursing home residents.

But there's another change on top of that. In response he introduced legislation Wednesday that would require bills, amendments and conference reports to be filed one day for every 20 pages in advance before they can be considered by the Senate.

"Kentucky has probably been helped more than any other state under Medicaid expansion", said Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism at the University of Kentucky.

"That's a big deal".

Medicaid represents 38 percent of federal funds coming into Montana.

The Senate bill is also much like the House bill in that it would repeal most of the taxes associated with Obamacare (it would bump out the implementation of the so-called "Cadillac Tax" on expensive, employer-sponsored health care plans, from 2025 to 2026). Source's tell CNN they are expecting it Monday or Tuesday.

It however delays cuts to the Medicaid program and maintains tax credits included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - commonly known as Obamacare - to help lower-income Americans purchase insurance for at least two years.

"The Senate bill needed heart, the way this bill cuts health care is heartless", Schumer said.

Press for info on Senate health bill
Several of the senators being targeted have expressed some concern about the evolving Senate legislation or its process. Against that background, McConnell's task this week is two-fold: finish a bill and convince enough people to back it.

"The current bill does not repeal Obamacare", Paul said in a statement.

For example, it cuts the upper-income limit that determines who gets premium tax credits.

Insurance subsidies are now available to Americans earning between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

The Senate bill largely uses people's incomes as the yardstick for helping those without workplace coverage to buy private insurance. That's important, because under Senate rules, there must be a CBO cost estimate before a vote on a reconciliation bill.

It would also eliminate Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood for one year.

The bill will continue cost sharing reductions (CSR) until their elimination in 2020.

Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican who was elected in 2015, campaigned and promised to entirely cut Medicaid expansion but then softened his position, seeking a section 1115 waiver from the federal government that would allow the state to create its own version of Medicaid expansion.

The Senate proposal changes those guardrails, saying that states can get those waivers, provided their alternate plans simply don't grow the deficit.

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