United States (New York Post) – Senate GOP Unveils New Health Care Bill: The Senate unveiled its plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare on Thursday, a bill that would cut Medicaid, eliminate penalties for people who don’t buy insurance and cut tax hikes enacted to pay for the Affordable Healthcare Act’s expanded care.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell developed the bill behind closed doors, angering Democrats and some Republicans alike.
The measure represents McConnell’s attempt to satisfy GOP moderates and conservatives who’ve complained about the measure.
McConnell hopes to push the measure through the Senate next week, but it remains unclear whether he will have enough votes.
The proposed bill would:
Allow states to waive requirements that insurers offer Essential Health Benefits — which include emergency services, maternity care and prescription drugs — in their plans.
Require insurers to let parents maintain coverage for their children until age 26.
Retain Cost Sharing Reduction payments to insurers, which President Trump had threatened to cut, at least temporarily.
Cut funding to Planned Parenthood in a manner similar to a bill passed by the House.
Phase out the Medicaid expansion over three years, with less money going to the states.
Keep ObamaCare tax credits for patients to buy insurance, with targeting to seniors and low-income people, for two years.
The proposal was described as a discussion draft, and was expected to change as senators haggle over a final bill.
Trump campaigned on a promise to repeal ObamaCare, the 2010 law that extended insurance coverage to millions of Americans through both subsidized private insurance and an expansion of Medicaid.
Trump had urged the GOP-led Senate to pass a more “generous” bill than that approved by the House, whose version he privately called “mean,” according to congressional sources.
About 23 million people could lose coverage under the House plan, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Senate conservatives seemed wary of the emerging new health care bill.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a member of a core group of 13 Republicans who have been working on the legislation, told reporters the bill did not yet do enough to lower health insurance premiums.
“If it is going to pass, the bill is going to have to make meaningful steps to reduce premiums,” he said.
Contributed by Dr. Colin O Jarrett