Senate GOP health bill would reshape Obama law

Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., speaks about the health overhaul following a closed-door strateg.

The Senate Republican Party released its proposed health care bill on Thursday - and while it had significant differences with the bill that passed the House, it will keep much of the original bill's same architecture.

The bill would provide less-generous tax credits to help people buy insurance and let states get waivers to ignore some coverage standards that "Obamacare" requires of insurers.

The Senate plan would also cut numerous taxes established by the Affordable Care Act, would eliminate penalties for people who don't buy insurance and, unlike the House plan, would not allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums to customers with pre-existing conditions. On Monday, Democrats held the Senate floor and gave a series of speeches slamming the process and the bill. "Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo".

The draft of the bill was released to senators Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET.

At least a half-dozen GOP senators - conservatives as well as moderates - have complained about the proposal, the secrecy with which McConnell drafted it and the speed with which he'd like to whisk it to passage. Democrats on the Senate floor are already using those words against him.

That means they can only afford to have two Republican rebels voting against it when it comes to the floor next week. We'll be providing live updates on reaction and what's included in the bill all day.

Four conservative GOP senators quickly announced initial opposition to the measure and others were evasive, raising the specter of a jarring rejection by the Republican-controlled body.

"If the bill is good for Nevada, I'll vote for it and if it's not, I won't", said Heller, whose state added 200,000 additional people under Obama's law.

The bill is quite similar to the version of the House bill that passed last month but with some key changes.

But Trump has made a slight about-face about health care reform since cheering the House bill during a Rose Garden ceremony.

At the White House on Thursday, Trump expressed hope for quick action. It would repeal tax increases on higher-income people, medical companies and others that had financed expanded coverage. 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.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi assails the GOP bill as a tax break for wealthy Americans. Some from states that have expanded the program have battled to prolong the phase-out, while conservative Republicans have sought to halt the funds quickly.

The Senate measure would transform Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to one in which federal funding would be distributed to states on a per capita basis. That's a fundamental change; now the program is "open-ended", meaning funding increases as need increases.

Senate Republicans have unveiled a plan to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, including drastic cuts to a government health programme for the poor. The bill would eliminate the requirement that Americans buy insurance or face a tax penalty.

Pearson said those subsidies will be smaller than under current law. House Republicans have challenged the legality of the $7 billion in subsidies - which help cover consumers' deductibles and copays - in court, and insurers warned they would have to increase premiums dramatically next year unless the federal government commits to continuing the payments.

"I'm sure the Russians have been able to hack in and gotten most of it".

The bill allows states to set "work requirements" for Medicaid beneficiaries, meaning that if you're out of a job, you won't be able to get assistance. States could not get exemptions to Obama's prohibition against charging higher premiums for some people with pre-existing medical conditions, but the subsidies would be lower, Pearson said, making coverage less unaffordable.

Below, we go through the seven biggest ways the Senate Trumpcare bill screws over Americans. Many Republicans have long fought that organization because it provides abortions. "We'd love to have some Democrats' support, but they're obstructionists".

For the next two years, the Senate would also provide money that insurers use to help lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of lower income people. Trump has been threatening to discontinue those payments, and some insurance companies have cited uncertainty as a reason they are abandoning some markets and boosting premiums. The CBO is expected to release a comprehensive estimate of how many people are expected to lose coverage as a result of the bill and how much it is expected to cost.

The Congressional Budget Office has not yet scored the Senate's replacement plan.

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