Not 'that far off' from passing health overhaul

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Not 'that far off' from passing health overhaul

The House of Representatives has passed a measure similar to the Senate plan. Schumer has vowed to help defeat the legislation, which the Congressional Budget Office scored on Monday. So where do they think these coverage reductions are coming from?

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Robert. Remember, Obamacare expanded Medicaid. This bill would shrink it.

As many as 15 million more people would be uninsured next year, primarily because the legislation would repeal Obamacare's individual mandate, according to the estimate, which was released on Monday.

CBO found that premiums would likely rise next year and the year after under the Senate bill, but would fall after that.

In parts of Alaska, these changes would mean this 60-year-old would pay almost $9,000 more a year for a silver policy, according to the Kaiser analysis, released Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is insisting on a vote this week before lawmakers leave town for the July 4th recess. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), one of the bill's most prominent critics.

HORSLEY: Well, it probably doesn't help. Susan Collins (R-ME), have said they could not vote for a bill that would lead to tens of millions fewer Americans having health insurance.

Republicans view the law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, as a costly government intrusion and say individual insurance markets created by it are collapsing. Remember; the Senate Republicans have very little margin for error.

At least three Republican senators must join the senate's Democrats in voting no for the bill in order for it to be defeated. With Collins out he's down to one. On the other hand, four conservatives have said they oppose the current version of the bill for not doing enough to reduce premiums.

More changes could be made to the legislation in the next few days, as Senate leadership presses ahead for a vote by the end of the week.

Republican leaders are aiming to bring the bill up for a vote in the Senate sometime this week. But Republicans' criticisms have focused narrowly on the individual market - people purchasing health insurance on their own. As New York's Eric Levitz puts it: "Instead of coercing Americans into buying insurance through a small financial penalty, the GOP would do so by locking some cancer patients out of access to insurance for a potentially fatal amount of time".

It does nothing to increase the number of people with health insurance or to make that insurance more affordable. "Our job today is to improve the Affordable Care Act, not destroy it".

While the group's members differ over the concept of federal spending limits on the health program for low-income people, the board agreed that the inflation adjustments in the Senate bill "are insufficient and unworkable". The budget office said its estimate included the impact of that addition. The bill proposes phasing out federal funding to states that had been used to expand the program under the Obama administration.

The American Medical Association also came out against the Senate bill on Monday, arguing it would violate the "do no harm" principle of the medical profession. And if that assumption turned out to be wrong, the states would face an even bigger budget gap. Senate leaders could use some of those savings to attract moderate support by making Medicaid and other provisions in their measure more generous, though conservatives would prefer using that money to reduce federal deficits. And this would presumably, in decades to come, push more people off the Medicaid rolls.

HORSLEY: Right. Once you get to be 65, you get kicked into Medicare.

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