Heller won't back Senate GOP health care bill


Governors in several states that opted to expand Medicaid under former President Barack Obama's health care law are wary of the Senate Republican plan to end the added federal funding for it within seven years.

Sen. Susan Collins of ME reiterated her opposition to language blocking federal money for Planned Parenthood, which many Republicans oppose because it provides abortions.

With just days before the bill could come to the floor, North Dakota's John Hoeven, South Dakota's John Thune and Mike Rounds, Iowa's Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, and Wisconsin's Ron Johnson ought to do some soul-searching about their responsibilities as representatives of a mostly rural region.

I doubt Trump understands what is in the bill (someone should ask him the justification for slashing Medicaid), but senators sure do.

"As we estimate the cost of the subsidies to buy insurance, we actually believe they may exceed, or at least equal, the subsidies that are under Obamacare", said Paul.

Bishop Dewane also said the bill "fails, as well, to put in place conscience protections for all those involved in the health care system, protections which are needed more than ever in our country's health policy", he stated.

"It appears that the proposed bill will dramatically reduce coverage and will negatively impact our future state budgets", he said in an emailed statement.

McConnell released the bill Thursday after weeks of closed-door meetings searching for middle ground between conservative senators seeking an aggressive repeal of Obama's statute and centrists warning about going too far.

As NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben reports, the BCRA is similar in many ways to the House's health care alternative, the American Health Care Act, that passed last month. So, I'm concerned about proposals the Senate's considering that would cut Medicaid funding.

The Senate bill calls for phasing out the enhanced federal support for the expansion by 2024.

After a shaky start, the White House hopes the Senate debate will allow Trump to turn the page on health care and get a fresh start on rewriting the tax code, a plan to rebuild roads and bridges, and his promise to strengthen the military - none of which will prove easy to accomplish.

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.

I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party.

Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the centrist has some misgivings about the bills as well.

"I am very supportive of the Senate #HealthcareBill". It now covers about 70 million people, including children and able-bodied adults mostly served by private managed care plans.

Underscoring the sensitivity of the bill, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) a run for her money when it comes to inflammatory rhetoric. "Cuts to Medicaid will lead to more asthma attacks". In 2015, West Virginia had the highest opioid overdose death rate; about 36 out of every 100,000 people in the state died from an opioid overdose that year.

The bill's big picture: The Better Care Act repeals hundreds of billions of dollars in tax hikes on families earning more than $200,000 a year and on a range of businesses, and pays for the tax cuts by slashing hundreds of billions of dollars in health care spending.

The bill was so bad, in fact, that even President Donald Trump apparently felt like he needed to change the subject to something less politically radioactive: former FBI Director James Comey and the Russian Federation scandal. "Let's have the integrity to show the American people what it is". "People say, oh, [the health care bill] is a tax cut for the wealthy - which is true; it is". On top of that, the bill would eliminate subsidies to help low-income people cover out-of-pocket costs and deductibles starting in 2019. Millions of Americans would lose coverage entirely and another group could have "coverage" in name only - cheap policies that are largely worthless when it comes to making claims.



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