Senate healthcare bill may be revealed on Thursday
Republicans in the U.S. Senate this week finally may reveal details of new healthcare legislation that so far have been worked out behind closed doors, sparking complaints from Democrats that the GOP is trying to rush a bill to vote before its potential impact can be assessed.
Democrats on Monday night tried to slow down Senate business as part of a larger strategy to “draw attention to the secretive process Republican leaders are using to craft their bill and argue that the GOP proposals would hurt Americans,” as Sean Sullivan writes in The Washington Post.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants the full Senate to vote by July 4 on the legislation designed to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). After that date, the Senate goes on a break until July 10.
The GOP reportedly is planning a party-only meeting on Wednesday. Sen. Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday told MSNBC's The Morning Joe that he expects to see the finished bill on Thursday.
With a slim 52-48 Senate majority, Republicans need almost full party support to pass the legislation. The House version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), passed in early May, calls for huge cuts to Medicaid, as well as elimination of the individual mandate. It also would allow insurers to raise premiums for older Americans and consumers with pre-existing conditions.
One big unknown is whether the Trump administration will continue funding cost savings reductions (CSRs) to subsidize health coverage for low-income Americans, a move that likely would drive insurers from the ACA exchanges and prompt payers who remain to raise rates.
To avoid causing millions of Americans to either pay far more for healthcare or lose coverage entirely due to the executive branch eliminating CSRs, Senate Republicans are considering paying these subsidies to insurers through a congressional appropriation, as Business Insider explains.
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