White House Steps Up Pressure On Dissenting Senate Republicans To Approve Revised Healthcare Bill

On Monday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release a new score of the revised Senate Republican repeal and replacement plan of Obamacare, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which comes as the White House steps up pressure on Republican dissenters of the revised Senate healthcare bill that makes key changes to America’s healthcare model.

Yesterday President Trump fired off a new round of tweets that encourages Senate Republicans to pass the new proposed healthcare legislation.

President Trump tweeted on Friday, “After all of these years of suffering thru ObamaCare, Republican Senators must come through as they have promised!”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can’t afford to have more than 2 Republicans vote against the new healthcare bill with Senate Republicans holding a slim majority and all Senate Democrats opposed to efforts by Republicans to toss out key elements of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul remains opposed to the revised Better Care Reconciliation Act and released a statement on Friday stating he will not be a part of it and will vote no next week during voting.

Senator Paul wants a full repeal and replace of Obamacare and claims that the new Republican healthcare legislation keeps most of Obamacare taxes, regulations, and subsidies.

Senator Paul concluded in his statement, “Health care will get worse, not better, and the GOP will own the results.”

Last Thursday, the Senate released a new revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act which keeps intact the Affordable Care Act’s 3.8 percent tax on investment income and tax on the wealthiest Americans while repealing taxes that target health insurers, prescription drugs, medical devices, and “high cost” employer sponsored plans.

The revised Senate healthcare legislation also includes a plan from Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for Americans to be able to purchase a scaled back low premium health insurance plan in the individual market, allocates an additional $45 billion towards combating the opioid epidemic in America for substance abuse treatment, and provides an additional $ 70 billion to help cover out of pocket costs while encouraging state based reforms in addition to the $112 billion in funding already in the original bill.

Medicaid provisions remain unchanged from the original Senate healthcare bill, including gradual reductions with Medicaid expansion beginning in 2021, and allowing states to choose between block grants and per capita allotments for their Medicaid population beginning in 2020.

According to the original score of the initial Better Care Reconciliation Act from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released on June 26th, the Senate healthcare bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026 and enacting the legislation would generate a net reduction of $321 billion in the federal deficit between 2017-2026, boosted by $772 billion in Medicaid cuts over the same time period.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported in their original score, “the largest increases in deficits would come from repealing or modifying tax provisions in the ACA that are not directly related to health insurance coverage, including repealing a surtax on net investment income and repealing annual fees imposed on health insurers.”

The new score from the Congressional Budget Office due early this next week will need to recalculate the revised Senate healthcare plan which doesn’t include repealing the 3.8 percent surtax on new investment income under the Affordable Care Act.

Individual and employer mandate penalties will continue to be eliminated in the latest revised bill.

The American Medical Association continues to oppose the revised Senate health care legislation and released a statement on Friday that voices concerns about the Medicaid cuts that will result in more Americans losing health care coverage.

“The revised bill does not address the key concerns of physicians and patients regarding proposed Medicaid cuts and inadequate subsidies that will result in millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage. The additional funding to address the opioid epidemic is a positive step, however, those suffering from substance use disorder have other health care needs that are not likely to be addressed if they lose coverage through a rollback of the Medicaid expansion. While stabilizing the individual market is an initial step, more bipartisan collaboration is needed in the months ahead to improve the delivery and financing of health care,” The American Medical Association said in a statement.

On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he was delaying the start of the August recess by 2 weeks so that Senate lawmakers could focus on healthcare reform, and raising the debt-ceiling by the end of September.

Written and Edited By:

Johnathan Schweitzer




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