Menendez Weighs in on 'Devastating' Senate Health Care Bill


The proposed Republican health care bill released by Senate leadership this week will "kill Massachusetts" without addressing any of the real flaws in Obamacare, Congressman Stephen Lynch said yesterday.

GOP Senate leaders can only lose two members of their 52-senator caucus in support of the bill in order for it to pass. Heller said he spoke with Senate Republican leaders and Vice President Mike Pence on Friday morning.

The fate of the Senate GOP health bill could lie with three female Republican lawmakers who, like many of their colleagues, were left out of the group responsible for drafting it. High-deductible insurance plans make less sense the poorer you get, which is why they should ideally be encouraged from the top of the income ladder down - through a cap on the tax subsidy for employer-provided insurance, ideally, a sound conservative idea left at the altar by this bill.

"I think that's fair to say because it repeals the taxes under the Affordable Care Act that paid for the Medicaid expansion and paid for the subsidies on the state exchanges", she said. Capito and Murkowski used similar language in their statements, saying respectively that they would "evaluate" the bill and "crunch the numbers".

Heller said that to win his vote, GOP leaders would have to "protect Medicaid expansion states" from the bill's current cuts.

For the past seven years, Republicans have worked to repeal the landmark health reforms of Mr Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. "If President Trump thought the health care bill in the House was mean, I can tell you that the Senate Republican plan is downright nasty", Menendez said.

One of the most controversial aspects of the senate bill is its treatment of Medicaid.

Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, facing a competitive 2018 re-election battle, Rob Portman of OH and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia expressed concerns about the bill's cuts to Medicaid and drug addiction efforts. "It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it". He pointed to insurers bailing on the individual-insurance market, and to premiums in Washington state potentially rising by an average of more than 20 percent next year. It also covers some of the costs of vision and hearing screening for children, along with part of the salaries for nurses, psychologists and other health care professionals.

More than 200,000 Medicaid recipients in Nevada previous year - more than a third of its entire Medicaid population - were eligible for coverage because of the expansion.

The Senate plan essentially eliminates the Medicaid expansion in Obama's law created to insure people who could never afford to buy their own insurance. But the end may be in sight: Sen McConnell has said he could call for a vote on the bill next week. Under both congressional measures, states would instead receive a per capita amount or block grant from the federal government.



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