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Senate GOP health bill seeks to hobble Obama law

The measure would cut and revamp Medicaid, the health care program for lower-income and disabled people.Democrats blasted the bill, using Trump’s “mean” judgment of the House bill.The Senate bill would keep the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurers have to cover everyone, including people with expensive preexisting conditions. “I’m open to keeping some of Obamacare”.Other Republican senators voiced some doubts about the plan before it was officially announced on Thursday.McConnell has very little room for error – he can only lose two Republican votes and still pass the bill – and GOP senators were not jumping to support it. But at a campaign-style rally in the heartland state of Iowa late yesterday, Trump teased supporters with a preview. Paul on Wednesday reintroduced his “Read the Bills” resolution that says that senators must have at least one day for every 20 pages of a bill to study the legislation before it can be brought to the Senate floor.”Until you see it in writing, you don’t know if it’s real”, said Sen. “I’d find it hard to believe we’ll have enough time”, he said, adding that if he did not get enough information, “I won’t be voting yes”. “A plan with heart, but Obamacare is dead”.An estimated 23 million people could lose their healthcare under a similar plan narrowly passed last month by the House of Representatives, according to CBO.Can McConnell get the votes? The discussion draft does not constitute actual legislation.The House bill also capped how much states receive for each individual enrolled in Medicaid.The Post reported that the Senate version would still radically alter “Obamacare” by reducing taxes created by the 2010 law, limiting the expansion of Medicaid, reconfiguring subsidies and giving states wider abilities to opt out of regulations. But negotiations have been plagued from the start by tensions between moderates and conservatives. The budget office’s analysis of the Senate measure is expected in the next few days.”It would be great if a politican had the nerve to be brutally honest” and tell people that healthcare costs are going up, said Joseph Antos, a healthcare expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.If Senate Republicans approve the bill, even by a narrow vote, it would give their repeal effort momentum, and likely enable the House and Senate to resolve their legislative differences and send a bill to Trump’s desk to sign into law.Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from ME, said she wants to read an assessment by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on its impact on cost and insurance coverage before making her decision.Medicaid: This has been one of the central sticking points in the debate.The Trump health plan would take away Medicaid coverage from a total of 31 million people over the next decade. But it would shrink the program even more over time by pegging the annual growth rate of those funds to standard inflation, rather than the more generous medical inflation, starting in 2025. States will have to pare back benefits or the number of beneficiaries as a result, critics say.Huntington, who buys health insurance through her state’s Obamacare exchange, said her premiums went up by $25 per month this year. Senate Republicans would lower that threshold to 350 percent. These payments would come in addition to cost-sharing subsidy payments, which would be extended through 2019. That language could be forced out of the bill for procedural reasons, which would threaten support from conservatives, but Republicans would seek other ways to retain the restriction.The sources said that in some instances, the documents McConnell planned to release might suggest optional approaches for issues that remain in dispute among Republicans.The plan would eliminate waivers that have allowed insurers to boost premiums on some people with pre-existing conditions.