Republicans in Senate Scramble To Get New Healthcare Bill Approved Before August Recess

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is attempting to garner enough Republican votes in the Senate during the next 3 weeks before Congress goes on their August recess to pass the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act which is intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate and can only afford to lose 2 Republican votes because Senate Democrats are unified in opposing the new proposed Republican Senate healthcare bill that changes the funding structure of the Affordable Care Act by repealing a surtax on net investment income for wealthy Americans, repealing annual fees imposed on health insurers, and repealing mandates to maintain health insurance from individuals and employers.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) offered some analysis of the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act through their June 26th score that concluded if enacted the proposed Republican bill would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017-2026 period by $321 billion, which is $202 billion more than the House’s healthcare version, the American Healthcare Act.

However, the proposed Senate bill would also increase the number of Americans who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026.

In 2018 there would be 15 million more uninsured Americans, mostly due to the individual mandate penalty being removed.

Because of reduced spending levels with Medicaid down the road, and significantly smaller average subsidies for coverage in the nongroup market, the number of Americans without health insurance would increase in later years.

Reductions in Medicaid spending would decline in 2026 by 26 percent.

On a cumulative basis, Medicaid spending would decline by -772 billion from 2017-2026.

Under the proposed Senate bill, average premiums for single individuals would increase 20 percent higher in 2018, 10 percent in 2019, but in 2020 average premiums would decline 30 percent compared to current law.

Although Republicans in the Senate still lack enough Republican support to approve the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act because of some dissension, President Trump tweeted yesterday, “I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!”

Written and Edited by:

John Schweitzer


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