March 21 2018

GOP Health Bill: Senate Leader Faces Battle for Support

March 21 2018, 12:25 | Rex Rios

After cameras were banned CNN turned to it's sketch artist Bill Hennessy

After cameras were banned CNN turned to it's sketch artist 
Bill Hennessy

"It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Trumpcare also fulfills Washington Republicans' partisan agenda of defunding Planned Parenthood".

Sen. Dean HellerDean HellerFifth GOP senator announces opposition to ObamaCare repeal bill Progressives target Heller and Flake on Senate GOP bill Rocky rollout for Senate healthcare bill MORE (R-Nev.) announced Friday that he is opposed to the Senate GOP's ObamaCare repeal bill in its current form, making him the fifth GOP senator to come out against the bill.

"Our analysis shows that the bill will cut more than $400 million federal dollars a year from our state Medicaid program", she said in a statement.

Still, McConnell is expected to hold a vote regardless of whether there is enough support to pass it.

Trump has spoken favorably about both the House-passed bill and the Senate version unveiled this week, though he declared several times as he ramped up his campaign for the presidency that he would not cut Medicaid.

Roughly one in three California residents - about 14 million people - are on Medi-Cal, the state's $102.6 billion Medicaid program.

"I'm pleased that we were able to arrive at a draft that incorporates input from so many different members who represent so many different constituents with so many challenges", he said.

McConnell released the bill after weeks of closed-door meetings searching for middle ground between conservative senators seeking an aggressive repeal of Obama's statute and centrists warning about going too far. And with little time to digest the Senate bill, we don't know many other things. Though he opened his message with an attempt to elevate the debate - emphasizing the need to listen to those with opposing points of view - he quickly framed Republican motivations as purely partisan. Health care costs increased.

"No argument against Trumpcare is more eloquent than the grave consequences it means in people's lives", she wrote colleagues. "It's just a tax cut for high-income people", said Mark Mazur, director of the Tax Policy Center.

US Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee said in a statement on Thursday they oppose the Senate Republicans' healthcare bill.

Former Indiana State Health commissioner Woody Myers says the bill worsens an already-weakened health care situation after large insurers this week left Indiana's Obamacare marketplace - something Myers blames federal Republicans for.

They aren't alone, one health-care expert said Thursday. She is viewed as one of the key votes on the bill, given that Republicans have only a two-seat advantage in the Senate. The bill would also bar using tax credits to buy coverage that includes abortions. The draft appears to seek to reduce the impact on Americans who stood to lose the most under the House version.

The 44th president did not mention his successor, Donald Trump, but his scathing criticism and urgent tone - imploring his supporters to speak out against the "fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation" - set up a direct public fight with the current White House occupant over the future of the nation's health care system.

The Congressional Budget Office has yet to release estimates on the Senate health care bill.

Funding for community-based services and other supports for people with developmental disabilities would be in jeopardy under a U.S. Senate proposal to radically alter Medicaid.

The Senate bill would lock in Florida's already low Medicaid funding for the next decade or more, making it hard to keep covering eligible Floridians and leaving little money for public health threats such as Zika, warns Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University.

"This bill that is now in front of the United States Senate is simply not the answer".

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