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Obama: the Republican's Senate bill "is not a healthcare bill"

24 June 2017

In a speech Thursday from the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., characterized the ACA as a failure that "teeters, literally teeters, on the edge of total collapse".

SUPPORTIVE: Four senators - Richard Burr of North Carolina and three members of the Senate Republican leadership: John Cornyn of Texas, John Thune of South Dakota and John Barrasso of Wyoming.

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican who surprised her party when she chose to expand Medicaid four years ago, is urging Congress to save the expansion, which has provided coverage to 400,000 Arizonans.

UNDECIDED: 10 senators - Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Marco Rubio of Florida, Susan Collins of Maine, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, James Risch of Idaho, John McCain of Arizona, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lindsey Graham of SC. The measure resembles legislation the House approved last month that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would mean 23 million additional uninsured people within a decade and that recent polling shows is viewed favorably by only around 1 in 4 Americans.

The ad campaign will link Heller to Democratic Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, painting the 57-year old freshman senator as a "typical politician". The federal-state program provides health care to the poor, disabled and many nursing home patients.

Under the Senate's bill, titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act, that expansion would be phased out, meaning those who gained coverage through the expansion would be without once again, though they could access coverage through the individual insurance market. Sandoval also asked if it's "really realistic" for people earning $16,000 per year to buy insurance on the exchange if they lose Medicaid eligibility. But the federal money drops so deeply in 2024 that it's unlikely many states would keep Medicaid expansion.

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That would leave states - which also fund the program - with fewer resources.

And I don't mean to exaggerate, but in the main, it's very hard to be supportive of something that takes health insurance away from 20 million or so Americans.

Cassidy has indicated he has problems with the bill that won House passage, which was the building block for the Senate legislation unveiled Thursday. He said Friday he would vote against the bill in its current form but did not rule out supporting a revamped, final version of it.

"The Medicaid cuts are even more draconian that the House bill was, though they take effect more gradually than the House bill did", Pearson says.

"It is hard to comment on the just-released Senate health care repeal bill without expressing amazement at its inhumanity". It would be politically hard for Heller to take a different stance on the measure from the popular Sandoval.

McConnell's challenges became clear immediately after the bill was released, as four conservative senators announced their opposition to the legislation as drafted.

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Underscoring the sensitivity of the bill, Sen.

Ernst declined to comment on any other provisions during a news conference at the Iowa Capitol, saying, "We have 142 pages to go through".

"We have to act", McConnell said.

The two healthcare bills seem to ensure that in some states coverage protections guaranteed by the ACA will be eroded, if not completely erased, over the next several years.

In addition, the GOP would phase out added financing that Obama's law provided as an incentive for states to expand the program and cover more low-income adults.

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