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Obama slams new Republican healthcare bill

Next week, the U.S. Senate will consider the “Better Care Reconciliation Act”, (BCRA), its version of legislation to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare” or the ACA).Sen. Chuck Schumer, deeming his fight a matter of “life and death”, vowed Friday “to use every single ounce of energy that I have” to defeat the Republican health care bill to repeal Obamacare. This appears to be an allusion to the Congressional Budget Office’s determination that the House bill would eliminate insurance for 23 million people – 14 million of them through the very Medicaid provisions Heller was criticizing most.Heller, who is up for reelection in 2018, has expressed concerns about the way the measure addresses the future of Medicaid.Dean Heller on Friday became the latest Senate Republican to say he opposes the current GOP health care bill.Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants the bill to come to a vote by July 4th.The 142-page bill proposed considerable cuts to Medicaid, a healthcare programme for low-income and disabled Americans, offered tax cuts to help people buy health insurance and gave states more power in shaping health-care regulations. It would also cut spending and thus reduce the federal deficit.The Senate proposal is broadly similar to the bill passed by House Republicans last month, with a few notable differences.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.”It’s going to be very hard to get me to a yes”, Heller said at a press conference in Las Vegas.Democrats are expected to unanimously vote against the bill.Democrats said the GOP measure would take coverage away from people and raise their out-of-pocket costs, all in the name of paring taxes on the wealthy. The non partisan Congressional Budget Office is expected to issue its report on the plan Monday or Tuesday, but here in CT political leaders say they already know enough to predict that it will cause another billion dollar red ink hole in the state budget. “The only people who are better off under their bill are millionaires and health insurance companies”.Gov. Christie’s spokesman has said he will not comment on this pending health care legislation, that the process of finalizing a bill is a long one. “That means the money available under this bill, for Medicaid in the out years, beyond 10 years, is even leaner, is even less, is even a deeper cut than what’s in the House bill“.