GOP senators now oppose health care bill as written


Revealed on Thursday, the bill remains deeply unpopular, and with the vote looming on the horizon, prominent Democrats and progressives are speaking out - including the party's 2016 presidential nominee.

Five Republican senators have announced they will not support the bill, which is created to repeal and replace Obamacare, in its current form.

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the U.S. House and now with the Senate takes a budget ax to Medicaid.

Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, facing a competitive 2018 re-election battle, Rob Portman of OH and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia expressed concerns about the bill's cuts to Medicaid and drug addiction efforts. The Washington Post reported Friday that a political action committee tied to President Donald Trump was preparing an advertising campaign to pressure Republican senators to get on board. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his colleagues are determined to get rid of it.

Besides the five who've announced outright opposition, several other GOP senators - conservatives and moderates - have declined to commit to the new overhaul.

Walker says the goal should be to increase access to quality and affordable health care, not the ranks of Medicaid.

Polls show that most Americans simply want decent health insurance coverage at affordable prices. Just as in the House bill, the Senate legislation would eliminate two taxes that Obamacare levied on the wealthy to help pay for the law.

The Senate Republicans released the health care bill they secretly worked on for months. Of course, the other big piece of this bill that has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act is a capping of federal funding for the Medicaid program, which is something that Republicans have been trying to do since Ronald Reagan was president. But experts say the money wouldn't go very far. At some point, over a period of years, the federal government would basically limit what it pays for Medicaid, which has always been a shared program between the states and the federal government.

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On Twitter, Kennedy said: "I'll be reading through the Senate health care bill this weekend".

Insurers would receive more federal funds. It would maintain Obamacare's ban on allowing insurers to charge higher premiums to those with pre-existing conditions. The federal poverty line for a family of four in 2017 is $24,600, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, meaning families earning up to $33,948 qualify for coverage in the states that expanded Medicaid. Reducing taxes, Republicans argue, will boost the economy, and shrinking spending on programs such as Medicaid will slow the growth of the federal debt.

SLAVITT: Well, this is really curious because one of the things that this policy does is it takes the portion of the insurance that is paid by the insurance company down from 70 percent to 58 percent, which means that deductibles are going to go up to somewhere between $6,000 and $7,000 on average, and that's quite puzzling given that the major criticism was deductibles were too high.

Instead, with the Senate bill, Americans get the same structure of the ACA with all the same problems made worse.

Healthcare stocks closed down 0.1 % on Friday, clawing back some losses after the sector dropped sharply late in the session on Heller's announcement. "We will continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product's risks outweigh its benefits", FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a Trump appointee, said after the announcement.

Arthur Evans, CEO of the American Psychological Association, said the new bill will weaken Medicaid and allow states to waive essential health benefits, including for those seeking treatment of their opioid addictions.

Private Insurance Changes Republicans would make no significant changes to employer-provided coverage, which remains the mainstay of private insurance. Chuck Radis said the health care proposal would cause millions to lose insurance.