Senate Republicans Add Individual Mandate Workaround to Health Care Bill

30 June, 2017, 00:27 | Author: Bridget Leonard
  • J. Scott Applewhite

Perhaps most notably, the bill includes deep cuts to Medicaid, a public health insurance program that covers almost one in five Americans, including low-income, disabled and elderly people.

By eventually ending the generous federal funding for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and overhauling the entire program's financing, the Senate bill would cut the program's spending by $772 billion over 10 years, versus what would be expected under current law.

But in dismantling large parts of the Affordable Care Act, the Senate bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million, leaving 49 million uninsured by the year 2026. And President Donald Trump himself called the House bill "mean" - though he's lent his support to the Senate version and is lobbying for passage.

If the Senate passes a bill, it will either have to be approved by the House, the two chambers would have to reconcile their differences in a conference committee, or the House could pass a new version and bounce it back to the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) leaves a closed meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, on June 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.

CNN correspondent Dana Bash tweeted late Monday that Johnson told her he would vote against proceeding on the health care plan if Senate leadership insisted on moving forward this week.

In analyzing the House bill, the CBO estimated that the market would be stable under current law, but could break down in states that seek extensive waivers from Obamacare rules. That's only slightly fewer than a House version that passed last month. Overall, the plan is estimated to save $321 billion in federal spending over a decade.

President Trump on Monday raised in a Twitter post the possibility of allowing ObamaCare to "crash & burn" if the GOP-backed bill to repeal and replace the health care plan fails in the Senate. Several swing votes in the Senate, such as Sen. This forecast comes as Senate Republican leaders press for a vote on the bill later this week, and it has already led one Republican senator to firmly oppose the bill.

But the CBO score does have one strong selling point for Republicans.

The much-derided mandate for every American to have health insurance or pay a penalty has been removed.

Before these provisions were enacted, the only taxes that were dedicated to health care was the Medicare tax on wages, which was not progressive, exempted investment income and mostly flows to the wealthiest Americans. And consumers will have less comprehensive coverage than they do now, with higher out-of-pocket costs.

Lets states drop maternity benefits and mental health coverage mandated by the ACA.


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