Health Care — The Latest

The new Senate health care repeal bill is the same as the old Senate bill, including the disastrous cuts, cost increases, and the millions who would lose their health insurance.  The old bill is the most unpopular bill in three decades.  The new bill shouldn’t stray far from the mark, given that it still:

  • Slashes hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid and ends ACA’s expansion
  • Hurts efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and could make it even worse
  • Kicks millions of people off their health care plan
  • Lets insurers charge older Americans 5 times more than younger Americans
  • Increases out-of-pocket costs and makes people pay more for less
  • Defunds Planned Parenthood and lets insurers offer plans that don’t cover maternity care
  • Allows insurers to offer plans that don’t cover essential health benefits, such as prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment and pediatric care
  • Looks out for the wealthy over lower and middle-income Americans
  • Provides handouts to insurance companies
  • Ends the ACA’s guaranteed protections for those with pre-existing conditions

Make no mistake: No tweaks, amendments or backroom deals can fix the immense harm that the Senate’s repeal bill will inflict on working Americans.

The bill includes a Ted Cruz proposal that experts say would plunge the individual market into a death spiral with middle-class families especially likely to bear the financial burden.

  • The amendment would allow for “junk insurance” plans that cover very little while carrying higher out-pocket costs.
  • Insurers would also likely increase premiums for those with pre-existing conditions who have more comprehensive plans.

Republicans want to ram this horrific bill through the Senate without sending the full bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

  • Sen. John Thune suggested that Republicans may rely on the Tom Price-led-HHS, which has effectively been campaigning against the ACA to give its own score of the Cruz section, rather than get an independent, nonpartisan CBO estimate.

Republicans added funding for opioid abuse treatment, but this amount is still woefully inadequate and will not erase the massive damage done by the bill’s cuts to Medicaid.

  •  We have no assurances that these funds would even be required to help treat people losing coverage under the bill.

The revised Senate bill still benefits the wealthy at the expense of middle-and low-income Americans by allowing funds from a person’s tax advantaged health savings account to pay for their premiums.  This does very little for people living paycheck to paycheck while disproportionately benefiting high-income earners.

  • The GOP is expected to allow funds from a person’s tax-free health saving account to pay for their premiums.  This does very little for people living paycheck to paycheck
  • HSAs disproportionately benefit high-income earners.

This bill practically breaks every major promise Trump and the GOP have made on health care.

  • Broken promises: Protecting Medicaid. Providing health care for everyone with lower premiums. Protecting pre-existing conditions.
  • If Senators like Murkowski, Portman, Heller and Capito couldn’t vote for the original Senate bill due to the pain it would inflict on their constituents, they certainly can’t vote for this revised version either. Nothing can fix the massive coverage losses, devastating cuts to Medicaid, or the gutting of protections for those with pre-existing conditions under this repeal effort.

Mitch McConnell is delaying Senate recess for two weeks to give the GOP more time to concoct and pass their repeal bill.  Senators are smelling the fumes of the jets sitting on runways to take them and their families on planned vacations — McConnell knows how to put the pressure on. Now is absolutely the time to keep our foot on the gas and the pressure on Senate Republicans.

Contact Senator McCain.

Contact Senator Flake.

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