GOP leaders add penalty for lapsed coverage to health bill

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When Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally released the bill last week, as drafted in secret by a committee of 11, I did not catch a single GOP senator issuing a positive statement in favor of the measure.

The Senate bill unveiled last week was immediately criticized by both conservatives and moderates in the party, casting doubt over whether Republicans could win passage.

With Vice President Mike Pence available to break a tie, McConnell can afford to have two of the Senate's 52 Republicans reject the health bill.

"It's the epitome of "mean" to say that those without health insurance for several months have to wait even longer to get it", said Schumer, repeating a word President Donald Trump used to describe the House version of the bill. The measure is largely based on the House-passed bill (HR 1682), but with deeper future reductions envisioned for the growth in Medicaid spending.

"I'm watching [the developments] but I'm just going to wait and see [before I pass judgment]", unusual said.

The somewhat late-blooming Republican embrace of some sort of national health-care insurance after years of opposition was fueled by an earlier Congressional Budget Office "scoring" of the likely ramifications of enactment of the House version. Additional cuts in federal support for Medicaid would eventually force states to narrow the number of people Medicaid serves, the benefits it provides, or both.

Progressive groups predicted IL will see hundreds of thousands people lose health insurance coverage if Congress approves the Senate Republican plan to replace Obamacare. This would increase hunger and poverty in the United States.

"The plan in its entirety will absolutely bring premiums down because you increase competition, you increase choices for individuals", he said. The bill is meant to be the first step in repealing and replacing the Affordable Health Act, also known as Obamacare.

Moderate Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she would vote against a GOP procedural motion, expected Wednesday, to begin formally debating the legislation.

READ: How Does The Senate Health Care Bill Affect Seniors?


In addition, conservative Sen.

In an interview on Monday with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, the Wisconsin senator rejected political pressure to pass the Senate bill as it stands, calling it "wimpy reform".

Over the weekend, Trump spoke "extensively" with Republicans, including Paul, Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson, the White House said. Johnson is one of five Republican senators who say they are not yet ready to vote for the bill, but that they are "open to negotiation".

"Republican Senators are working very hard to get there, with no help from the Democrats", Trump tweeted.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said only she was "studying the bill".

Republicans and President Trump's health secretary have tried to downplay the CBO's ability to estimate the effects of their bill. Experts had warned that canceling the fine could lead to a sicker insurance pool because young and healthy people would not face consequences for failing to purchase insurance.

It would also phase out extra federal money that law is providing to 31 states to expand Medicaid to additional low-income earners. And it would put annual caps on overall Medicaid money the government until now has automatically paid states, whatever the costs.

"The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels", AMA CEO James L. Madara said. Why aren't we addressing the premiums that have doubled and tripled in either bill? That's because standard policies would be skimpier than now offered under Obama's law, covering a smaller share of expected medical costs.

An analysis released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the Senate bill would result in 22 million more uninsured Americans over the next decade compared to current law, just a shade better than the 23 million that would be bumped by the House bill.

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