Senate Republicans unveil Obamacare replacement bill, but fate uncertain

“I am pleased that we were able to arrive at a draft that incorporates inputs from so many different members who represent so many different constituents who are facing so many different challenges”, McConnell said after unveiling the bill.”States that expanded get more money for longer and states that didn’t expand get less”, Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel said in an interview Thursday.While he admits that Obamacare is not the flawless system, he does not agree with the bill put forth.The Senate bill would cover substance abuse treatment and mental health care, unlike the House version, which slashed funding for both. Instead of open-ended payments, the federal government would give states a maximum payment for almost every individual enrolled in the program.Avik Roy, the president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, and a conservative health care analyst, cheered the bill on Twitter, saying, “If it passes, it’ll be the greatest policy achievement by a GOP Congress in my lifetime”. There is no guarantee of coverage for preexisting conditions; Medicaid would be cut by over $800 billion; programs like Planned Parenthood would be defunded; and insurance premiums are expected to go up, not down.States would continue to receive extra funding for Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid to more poor adults, but only temporarily.But the bill would allow states to use an existing ACA program, known as 1332, in which they can file for waivers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that allow them to scale back the requirements for plans offered by insurers.High-income earners would get substantial tax cuts on payroll and investment income.The battle over resources played into the public debate.Senate Democrats on Thursday launched their strategy to fight the GOP’s health care bill by trying to prevent it from getting a quick vote.”The chaos the Republican Party is wrecking across our health care system won’t just be felt in our insurance markets but in doctor’s offices, ER’s and clinics across the state of in”, says Myers.McCain told a town hall on Thursday that he wants to hear from Arizona health-care providers, legislators and Gov. Doug Ducey before he makes up his mind on the proposed bill. “That would be huge”.It would phase out Obamacare’s expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled over three years, from 2021 to 2024, and then enact deeper cuts in the program than the House version, beginning in 2025.But patients with serious illnesses may still face skimpier, less useful coverage. “What it does do is allow states to get waivers” allowing exceptions to rules requiring comprehensive coverage, he said. Someone seriously ill who buys a plan that does not cover prescription drugs, for example, may not find it very valuable. It is hard to see how the Republicans’ alternative can do away with the mandates that made that possible and still keep the provisions protecting people with health conditions.But because federal subsidies would also decline, only a fraction of people buying their own insurance would enjoy the benefits of lower prices.Tax boosts Obama levied on upper income people and medical industry companies would be repealed, and another on costly employer-provided health insurance would be delayed.”It needs to look more like a repeal of Obamacare rather than that we’re keeping Obamacare“, Paul said. President Donald Trump predicted the final product is “going to be great” – but only after some more negotiations take place. While Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) is seen as a more likely vote for the Republican plan, Sen. Subsidies under the bill would help middle-income consumers buy insurance that pays 58 percent of the average patient’s medical costs, down from 70 percent under Obamacare; it would also remove a different type of subsidy created to lower deductibles further for Americans earning less than about $30,000 a year. However, most of the spending is driven by seniors and those with disabilities. The insurance they would buy under the bill might seem cheap at first, but it wouldn’t be if they ended up paying more in deductibles.