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Democrats stall Senate work to protest healthcare secrecy

Democrats stall Senate work to protest healthcare secrecy

The question is, how to do it.

Democratic lawmakers are fed up with the Republicans keeping their healthcare bill secret. The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the expansion was optional for states, but 31 have done so, providing new coverage to an estimated 14 million people.

The Republican National Committee blasted the Democrats' plan as a "pure partisan game aimed at placating the far-left".

A crucial part of the political gamble the Republicans are making is for their healthcare bill to be budget neutral, which means they can pass it through a process called budget reconciliation. Several have suggested that they could accept a seven-year phaseout.

The Trump administration has already leveled direct threats to cut off federal subsidies to health insurers, to go after the drug industry, and Republicans hold the purse strings for the federal programs that cover numerous patients seen by the nation's doctors and hospitals. But they'll still be thrown off, and to pay for this reprieve, the Senate would reportedly include additional cuts to Medicaid elsewhere.

A related issue is whether and at what level to cap federal Medicaid spending.

Instead, Republicans set up a group of about a dozen lawmakers - originally, none of them were women - to come up with something more moderate. Medicaid covers half of all births and half of the nation's bill for long-term care, including nursing home stays. Indeed, the Wall Street Journal, the British Medical Journal, and others reported that the 50% smoker surcharge now available under Obamacare could slash smoking rates by one half.




"We'll let you see the bill when we finally release it", the Majority Leader said. A May 16-22 Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 55 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of it.

The bill was, of course, passed weeks before the Congressional Budget Office determined it would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026.

"What Democrats are aiming to do is highlight how appalling it is for Republicans to try to jam through a bill that impacts one-sixth of our economy, and would undermine the health and financial security of patients and families nationwide, without so much as a single public hearing or a robust floor debate", said the Democratic aide, who asked not to be named. A win for Democrat Jon Ossoff could be seen as a stark warning to President Donald Trump and the GOP Obamacare repeal efforts. This is a key demand for a large portion of the Republican base.

A related issue is whether House language to temporarily bar Planned Parenthood from participating in the Medicaid program will be allowed in the Senate. He's using parliamentary tricks to move the bill quickly. Mari said that without Medicaid, she, her husband, and their kids would not have had any other options.

The lack of public debate appears to be a deliberate strategy by McConnell and his lieutenants to minimize opportunities for critical evaluation of their bill, which is likely to be highly controversial. She voted against Republicans' Obamacare repeal bill in 2015.

Eliminating insurance regulations imposed by the ACA are a top priority for conservatives.

As I've traveled across Minnesota in recent months, Minnesotans have made it clear to me just how important health care is to them, their families, and their communities.

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