Four Republican Senators Announce Opposition To Current Health Bill

Democratic senators hold a hearing hosted by Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow D-Mich. left with Sen. Ron Wyden D-Ore. center and Sen. Al Franken D-Minn. about how they say the GOP health care bill could hurt rur

Death and Taxes asked a speed-reading world champion and a cognitive scientist how senators can study their health care repeal bill in just one week.

In announcing the Senate proposal, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed "Obamacare", saying it is on the verge of collapse while urging Democrats to support its replacement.

Some of the biggest changes this bill makes are to Medicaid, the entitlement program that provides health care to low-income Americans.

Obamacare's premium subsidies structure would be maintained under the Senate bill, but the eligibility criteria would be tightened starting in 2020.

Senate Republicans are unveiling their plan at a critical time for Obamacare's insurance exchanges, where consumers can purchase individual coverage.

"I need the information to justify a "yes" vote". "I don't know whether the tax credit will phase out slowly over time over income levels, or whether it's going to be abrupt cliffs, which is a major problem we had with" Obamacare.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told CNN that it would be "very difficult" for lawmakers to digest the bill in time for a vote next week.

The Washington Post, citing two GOP sources, said McConnell could bring the measure to a vote next week even if he doesn't have the votes, though some believe that he's just trying to press his colleagues to support the bill.

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Calling the Senate bill "more moderate" than the House's AHCA is a low bar and framing the Senate bill that way is deceptive.

"Right now the challenge is how we get to 50", said Sen. "I've been talking about a plan with heart". Passing this bill would mean less money in thousands of families' pockets in Virginia alone and fewer options for affordable, high-quality health care.

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has already called the legislation "a wolf in sheep's clothing" and "even worse" than the House bill during a speech on the Senate floor. With only a week until the Senate vote and no committee evaluations, the heat is on to either pass or kill the plan. John Thune, R-S.D., a top McConnell deputy, referring to the number of senators needed to pass the bill, with Vice President Pence standing ready to cast a tiebreaking vote.

According to Vox, the Senate health care bill would also reduce the subsidies offered to Americans with incomes below 350 percent of the poverty line, which is about $41,000 for individuals and about $85,000 for a family of four. McConnell has a tough needle to thread: making significant concessions to conservatives risks losing moderate votes, and vice versa.

Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee issued a joint statement following the release of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The new bill would shift much of that burden back to states. Senate Republicans hope to see better headlines from this CBO report than the one that the House GOP legislation received.

The stabilization money, combined with the continuation of ObamaCare's cost-sharing reduction subsidies through 2019, could lead some conservatives to say the bill keeps too much of ObamaCare. The Senate bill also departs from the House bill's flat tax credits to help pay for insurance, which would have added thousands of dollars to the premiums of poorer and older people not yet eligible for Medicare.

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

Both bills roll back a Medicaid expansion undertaken under the Affordable Care Act. New polling from the University of Maryland's Program for Public Consultation found that not only do two-thirds of voters nationally oppose the bill as a whole, majorities of Republicans in solidly Republican congressional districts oppose its key provisions.

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