Is the new Senate health proposal a responsible bill or just “stuff” to get 50 votes?

 

“Overall, the new version of the bill made broad concessions to conservative Republicans who had maintained that the initial draft left too much of the Affordable Care Act in place. Mr. McConnell then backfilled the bill with money intended to placate moderates. That jury-rigging of the bill left neither side completely satisfied.” (A)

“The new bill includes major changes to the original. One of the most significant was the inclusion of an amendment by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, which would allow insurers offering Obamacare plans to also offer cheaper, bare-bones policies. The amendment was included in an effort to earn more conservative support, but could also drive away some moderates who fear the amendment could drive up premiums for those with pre-existing conditions.
It also contains significant new funding for opioid treatment and money for states meant to lower premiums for high-cost enrollees. But it would keep two Obamacare-era taxes on the wealthy and maintains significant cuts to Medicaid, meaning 15 million fewer people could insured by the program by 2026.” (B)

“The Congressional Budget Office projected that the previous iteration would result in 22 million more uninsured in a decade. “Looking at the revised Senate health bill, it’s hard to see how it could meaningfully alter CBO’s projection of how the uninsured will grow,” the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Larry Levitt noted. “The revised Senate bill reinstates taxes on wealthy people, but it mostly does not spend that money on health care for low-income people.”” (C)

“The home state of a key undecided senator could receive hundreds of millions of dollars under an updated Senate GOP bill to repeal ObamaCare. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has withheld her support for the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act, citing concerns over Medicaid cuts, Planned Parenthood funding and insurance affordability.
But a new provision could funnel more than $1 billion to her state over the next decade to help reduce the cost of insurance premiums. Under a formula in the revised Senate bill, only Alaska would qualify for additional money from the legislation’s $182 billion stability fund. The legislation would direct the money to states with disproportionately higher premiums. Under the bill, states with premiums that are at least 75 percent of the national average would qualify to keep one percent of the legislation’s long-term insurance stability fund. Alaska is the only state with premiums that high.” (D)

To see a great chart on Who’s In, Who’s Left Out With The Latest Senate Health Care Bill, highlight and click on http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/13/537037194/whos-in-whos-left-out-with-the-latest-senate-health-care-bill (E)

“At its core, however, the revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act ― which McConnell pulled two weeks ago because too few Republican senators planned to vote for it ― remains a vehicle for massive cuts to Medicaid, less financial assistance for people who buy private health insurance, and the return of skimpy junk insurance policies and discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. Taxes on the rich would remain, but health care companies would enjoy a major tax cut.” (F)

 

(A) Senate Republicans Unveil New Health Bill but Divisions Remain, by Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplanjuly, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/13/us/politics/senate-republican-health-care-bill.html
(B) New GOP health care bill could allow cheaper plans with fewer benefits, by Lauren Fox, Tami Luhby, MJ Lee and Ted Barrett, http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/13/politics/senate-health-care-bill-ted-cruz-amendment/index.html
(C) The new Senate health-care bill may be worse than the old one, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-new-senate-health-care-bill-may-be-worse-than-the-old-one/2017/07/13/9aaffc18-680e-11e7-8eb5-cbccc2e7bfbf_story.html
(D) The home state of a key undecided senator could receive hundreds of millions of dollars under an updated Senate GOP bill to repeal ObamaCare, by Nathaniel Weixel, http://thehill.com/author/nathaniel-weixel
(E) Who’s In, Who’s Left Out With The Latest Senate Health Care Bill, by Gisele Grayson, http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/13/537037194/whos-in-whos-left-out-with-the-latest-senate-health-care-bill
(F) The New Senate Health Care Bill Is Still An Assault On The Safety Net, by Jeffrey Young, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-senate-health-care-bill-is-still-an-assault-on-the-safety-net_us_596791a5e4b0a0c6f1e69c3c

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