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Senate Republicans claim progress on health care legislation
08 June 2017, 02:12 | Audrey Hill
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In recent days, a procession of GOP senators has paraded forth and declared in somber tones that the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare may be failing. "There's no doubt that keeping members focused on investigations detracts from our legislative agenda", Trump's director of legislative affairs, Marc Short, told reporters this week, according to Politico.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) said Republicans have whittled their options down to about "five" different plans. John Thune (R-S.D.), a Finance Committee member. John Kennedy said Tuesday that costs are growing out of control and addingmore money to Medicaid is "like adding paint to rotten wood".
"We still have a ways to go", said Sen.
President Donald Trump is desperate not to look like a loser. Senator Lindsey Graham of SC said yesterday that he's concerned there won't be enough support in the GOP.
Senators said a PowerPoint presentation at Tuesday's Senate GOP lunch meeting left some key decisions unresolved. After observing a slideshow prepared by leadership, Sen.
"It's very cognizant of pre-existing conditions, which is a good thing", he said.
"It's very cognizant of preexisting conditions". How and whether to unwind states' Medicaid expansion presents the biggest hurdle, as a number of Republican senators in states that expanded coverage are deeply opposed to throwing people off healthcare.
Democrats argue that ending the extra Medicaid expansion funds on a slower timetable, as the Senate bill appears poised to do, serves little objective and will simply take away Medicaid coverage at a later date. Negotiators have moved away from the House bill, which the Congressional Budget Office said would save $834 billion over 10 years by cutting back Medicaid. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).
The House healthcare bill could result in 23 million people losing insurance, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. But given the willingness of House Republicans last month to support a bill that many of them didn't like, no one should be certain that Republicans won't compromise on their principles again.
McCarthy said a timeline on when the Senate's bill will be voted on was not announced in the meeting, but they are looking to pass the legislation sooner rather than later.
Even if a bill does make it through the Senate, that doesn't bring Congress any closer to successfully completing the "repeal and replace" process that it undertook just three months ago, and there's no guarantee it will succeed.
The Senate is now more moderate than the House and will likely pass its own version of the bill.
The major differences are likely to be those that concern the expansion of Medicaid that was permitted under the Affordable Care Act, the grants that law provides to the states for expanding Medicaid coverage in their states, and in the way that provisions such as the coverage mandate for people with pre-existing conditions work. The bill has all but stalled in the Senate. Despite that show of optimism, there's uncertainty aplenty over whether the Senate will be able to pass a health bill, and whether a complicated tax overhaul or even a simple set of tax cuts will advance.
Republicans know they are not invincible to political pressures: Health care and tax reform were always going to be politically hard issues for Republicans in vulnerable congressional seats, and delaying negotiations only raises the stakes. If this work isn't done before Congress returns from its recess after Labor Day then Congress will face a crunch time in September as it races to get some kind of funding bill put together prior to midnight on September 30th.
"We had a really detailed discussion about what would be in a bill, the details of which I am not going to comment on today". "That means another 20 counties in the state of OH will have no health care plan". Other senior Republicans, such as Senator Orrin Hatch, said they may vote by early July.Republicans have little margin for error as they hold a two-seat majority in the 100-seat chamber and remain divided over key questions such as whether to scale back the Medicaid health plan for the poor."You have to get 50 people - that means they have to get me and a lot of people who are concerned about Medicaid", said Senator Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, a state that depends heavily on the program.
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