ibusinesslines.com July 22, 2017

Republican senators 'not ready to vote' for health care bill

26 June 2017, 06:52 | Laverne Osborne

A key Republican swing vote on the Senate health care bill said Monday that he opposed the current plan because it did not roll back Obamacare's protections for people with preexisting conditions, a demand that will likely make it hard to win his vote.

"I can not support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans", he said at a news conference in Las Vegas, standing next to Nevada's Republican governor, Brian Sandoval. "And I'm announcing today that in this form, I simply will not support it".

Senate Republican leaders were trying to lock down Republican votes by funneling money to red states, engineering a special deal for Alaska, and arguing that they could insure more people at a lower cost than the House, which passed a repeal bill last month.

In a Facebook posting, Obama said Republican replacement health care plans "rushed through" the GOP-run House and Senate "would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it". The subsidies will be linked to recipients' income in the Senate bill, a "major improvement" from a measure approved last month by the House that tied them exclusively to age, Republican Senator Susan Collins said.

Ohioans are reacting to the long-awaited Republican Affordable Care Act repeal bill released Thursday.

Just hours after McConnell released the 142-page legislation on Thursday, four conservatives said they opposed it. "This is not the best possible bill", said Sen.

Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Rob Portman of OH have all said that they have concerns. "Keep going, keep pushing, because we can defeat this bill if we keep working together".

"The president said the House bill was mean", said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. It would also slap annual spending caps on the overall Medicaid program, which since its inception in 1965 has provided states with unlimited money to cover eligible costs.

Over the weekend, senators and their aides were poring over the bill, drafting possible amendments, preparing speeches, and compiling personal stories from constituents who they portrayed as either beneficiaries or victims of the Affordable Care Act.

Lawmakers will be "looking to see if there are things that we can do to refine it, and make it more acceptable to more members in our conference, to get to 50", Senator John Thune said.

But health law experts caution that this coverage gap fix for these very low earners would likely be largely undercut by two other changes in the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he's willing to alter the measure to attract support, and promised plenty of back-room bargaining as he tries pushing a final package through his chamber next week.

Molina Healthcare Inc, which has more than 1 million customers in Obamacare plans, said in a statement that dropping the individual mandate with no replacement provision will lead healthy people to forgo coverage and thus drive up premium rates.

But the Senate bill disrupts this. This type of bill affects people's live, it affects everyone that's vulnerable... That was my term because I want to see - and I speak from the heart, that's what I want to see. "Senate Republicans are paying for tax cuts for the wealthy with American lives".

The Senate bill calls for phasing out the enhanced federal support for the expansion by 2024.

"We strongly urge the Senate to reject this bill". And if they alter the bill to appeal to conservatives, the moderates could bail.

Under both the Senate and House bills, that surcharge goes away in 2023.

"That is why we need the Congressional Budget Office assessment", Collins said.

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