From Public Protests to Internal Opposition: Will GOP Health Bill Survive?

As soon as it reached the Senate, the GOP majority there said they would scrap it and come up with a bill of their own.Nearly immediately, the pro-Trump group America First Policies chose to launch what a source with the group says will be a major television, radio and digital ad buy against Heller – a remarkable attack on a member of Trump’s own party whose seat is endangered in 2018.The Senate Republican bill is a tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans; the top one-tenth of the one percent would receive thousands upon thousands of annual tax cuts while some individuals with disabilities lose coverage. “We’ll have to see”, Trump said during an interview on FOX & Friends Friday morning.Many supporters-like Pennsylvania’s Republican US Senator Pat Toomey-say they don’t think that will necessarily change Medicaid coverage drastically.McConnell wants the bill passed next week, still with no public hearings or opportunities for health care experts or advocates to have a say.Heller said it is a “lie” that the Senate Republican health care bill would lower premiums. Some conservatives think current plans don’t go far enough; others say those plans will hurt numerous people they represent. Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson are the other four senators opposed to the bill, but their contention is that it doesn’t go far enough to repeal Obamacare.The group said in a statement Friday it’s encouraged that the Senate bill would take immediate action to stabilize shaky insurance markets by guaranteeing billions of dollars in subsidies under jeopardy due to a legal dispute and political maneuvering.Sen. Susan Collins of ME reiterated her opposition to language blocking federal money for Planned Parenthood, which many Republicans oppose because it provides abortions.The only “improvement” the Senate version offers over the House plan is that it would wait longer to destroy Medicare recipients’ coverage.The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that under the House bill, 23 million fewer people would have coverage by 2026.Nevada also expanded the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and the Senate bill would phase out that expansion starting in 2020. The enhanced federal financing that pays for the expansion would disappear entirely in 2024. That would focus the aid more on people with lower incomes than the House legislation, which bases its subsidies on age. The Senate Bill, however, will allow insurers to provide less than needed coverage in states that get waivers for essential health benefits.”There’s been no indication from the current administration, or from Congress, that the subsidies that are now going to insurance companies will continue”, said Vilsack.