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Senate GOP releases bill to cut Medicaid, alter 'Obamacare'

Senate GOP releases bill to cut Medicaid, alter 'Obamacare'

The House measure would cut Medicaid by $834 billion over a decade, repeal $664 billion of Obamacare's tax increases on the wealthy and the health-care industry, and end requirements that individuals get health insurance and that most employers provide it.

Most senators got their first look at the bill as it was released Thursday morning. They both plan to hold town halls to speak with Montanans about their thoughts.

"It's clear to me that any potential changes to the national policy regarding Medicaid and heath insurance programs like those contained in the [American Health Care Act] will directly impact Tribal communities and Native lives", Udall said in a statement.

"Montanans deserve a voice in this process, and that's why I'm holding this town hall. I want to hear from my bosses, the people of Montana, about what they like and don't like about this legislation", he added.

The Senate bill is largely a replica of the AHCA that also includes its own extreme measures.

Here are the major differences: Rather than basing subsidies to help people buy health insurance on age, as the House bill did, the Senate version bases them on income, as Obamacare does.

"We've long called for a better way forward, and we've engaged in intensive talks on how to get there", McConnell said from the Senate floor. "Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle-class and Americans deserve better than the failing status quo".




Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will bring an Obamacare repeal bill to a vote, even if it lacks necessary support, in order to put senators on the record, a source close to Senate leadership told The Daily Caller.

The Senate is voting in a week without committee hearings and little floor debate "save for 10 measly hours", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY. Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have said that they are reluctant to support a bill that would gut funding for health care providers like Planned Parenthood.

Schumer says, "We live in the wealthiest country on earth".

Some conservative and moderate GOP senators have their doubts, too. The disparities could be sticking points if the two chambers have to compromise on the bill, which they would have to do before it could reach President Donald Trump's desk.

"The GOP health care plan says, 'Yes, we're going to make sure you can purchase a plan, but the plans we're going to make sure you can purchase are going to be very high-deductible plans, '" he said. If the Senate passes its version, the House and Senate would have to settle on compromise legislation before it can be signed by Trump. Though Trump lauded its passage in a Rose Garden ceremony, he called the House measure "mean" last week.

At the White House on Thursday, Trump expressed hope for quick action. "This bill is just as bad as the House bill, taking coverage away from millions of people and making huge cuts to Medicaid". Those additional funds would continue through 2020, then gradually fall and disappear entirely in 2024. Numerous Republican senators from states that expanded Medicaid are concerned about how a rollback of the program could affect their constituents, and they face pressure from governors back home. That's a fundamental change; now the program is "open-ended", meaning funding increases as need increases. The Senate measure would also seek to phase out the program's expansion - although at a more gradual rate than the House version. Older, relatively low-income consumers who were not yet eligible for Medicare fared particularly poorly under the House plan, so the change may benefit them but at the expense of younger, healthier individuals whose participation in the health insurance marketplace is crucial to its viability.

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