“Senate leaders now hope they can convince a majority of senators to vote for a scaled-back bill that is being called a “skinny” repeal bill. This measure would reportedly rescind the ACA’s requirement that individuals have health insurance and that employers with 50 or more workers provide coverage for their employees. The bill also would eliminate a tax on medical devices that manufacturers have fought against since before the ACA was passed in 2010.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not published a score for this specific measure. But actuaries and the CBO in the past have said that if the individual mandate were eliminated, 15 million fewer people would have insurance, and premiums for older adults would escalate because many healthy people would drop their coverage and insurers would be left covering older and sicker Americans.” (A)
“With the economy stagnating and Congress bridling at President Richard Nixon’s heavy-handed spending controls, lawmakers in 1974 created a fast-track procedure to help make the tough decisions on rising budget deficits and swelling entitlement spending.
Since then, that process — called reconciliation — has been warped for many purposes, including large tax cuts, but never has it been used for the kind of complex policy making that Republicans are trying to do now with health care. And it is showing.”
One by one, key provisions and large blocks of text may be stripped from the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act because the budget rules being used to pass the legislation are for budget matters — spending and taxation — not policy. (B)
“The Senate has entered the home stretch of the dramatic debate to overhaul Obamacare, with lawmakers bracing for what could be a long and grueling marathon series of votes that extends well into the night and morning. The Republican health care strategy: Pass bill first, fix it later
And the text of the GOP plan — a so-called “skinny bill” that rolls back Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates — remains unseen by senators or the public, although it was discussed during a closed-door lunch…
The outline, according to two sources who have viewed it, proposes: Repealing the individual mandate, repealing the employer mandate for a minimum of six years, providing greater flexibility to the states through the 1332 waiver, and defunding Planned Parenthood, directing those funds to Community Health Centers.
The Republican Party’s ongoing efforts to pass legislation to weaken the Affordable Care Act is expected to culminate in the famous Senate process known as vote-a-rama, in which senators can introduce an unlimited number of amendments — often for the purpose of driving home a political point and forcing colleagues in the other party to cast uncomfortable votes.(C)
“Four Republican senators — enough to sink a majority vote — said that they will only support the GOP’s “skinny” Obamacare repeal bill if they get assurances that a better plan will get hashed out in a conference committee with the House…
Graham said he could not support a “half-assed” plan that he called “politically” the “dumbest thing in history.” But he added that he could back the bill if he is promised that lawmakers could strike a better Obamacare replacement deal in conference…
Essentially, the senators said they would back the plan only with the assurance that the House will not pass the same bill.”(D)
(A) Senate Leaders Still Intent on Slashing Your Health Care, by Dena Bunis, http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-2017/senate-rejects-health-care-repeal-no-replace-fd.html
(B) Republican Gamble on Fast-Track Rules for Health Care Hits Wall, by Robert Pear, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/us/politics/republican-fast-track-rules-obamacare-hits-wall.html
(C) Senate nearing end of health care debate period, preparing for a long night of votes, http://cw39.com/2017/07/27/senate-nearing-end-of-health-care-debate-period-preparing-for-a-long-night-of-votes/
(D) Four GOP senators shred ‘skinny’ Obamacare repeal — but leave the door open to voting for it, by Jacob Pramuk, http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/27/mccain-graham-johnson-lay-out-terms-for-supporting-obamacare-repeal.html