Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

GOP Senate health care bill revision teetering on edge of collapse

GOP Senate health care bill revision teetering on edge of collapse

According to reports, Senate Republican leaders released a revised plan on Thursday to replace Obamacare, but once again drew criticism from senators on both sides of the political divide within the Republican party, indicating a treacherous path for the bill.

The latest version includes a controversial provision offered by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would allow the sale of deregulated insurance plans as long as Obamacare-compliant plans are also still sold.

Proponents of the Cruz amendment claim it expands consumer choice.

It also directs $70 billion to help lower and middle income people buy plans on the private market, and $45 billion to treat opioid addiction.

Indeed, the same bias is evident in CNN's previous reporting on the health care bills, heavily favoring the ACA over Republican amendments. We don't have any evidence there will be changes to the Medicaid portion of the health care bill, which could be problematic if leadership wants their votes.

With Democrats united in opposition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs support from at least 50 out of 52 Republicans to pass the measure in the 100-member chamber.

Perdue and Isakson are considered to be safe "yes" votes for the GOP. However, it's unclear whether the measure can even garner enough votes to begin debate. In fact, this bill seems created to court the far-right members of the Senate in the hopes that the moderates who opposed the previous version of the bill could be bullied into supporting this one. With "something that's really good and that people are going to like" - and by being "very angry" if the Senate, which is expected to take up the issue again next week, fails to present a really good, eminently likable something to him.

Two Republican senators - Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of ME - have already said they would vote against even allowing debate to begin.

Instead, conservative groups such as Heritage Action for America won the ears of Senate Republicans when it came to changing the Medicaid insurance program for the poor and disabled.

Collins told reporters separately that she can not support the bill, and criticized Senate leaders for the way they produced it. "Every time Congress revises this bill, the most harmful provisions remain, or, in some cases, become even harsher", said Susie Pouliot, CEO of the Idaho Medical Association. A few more compromises may be necessary - there is still much more that could be done to improve the bill - but conservatives would do well to note that moving in the direction of the original Cruz Amendment into the legislation to improve it is no small accomplishment. "Ready to work with GOP & Dem colleagues to fix the flaws in ACA". Medicaid expansion is phased out, freeing up resources for states to focus that program's spending, for example, for seniors who require long-term care either in nursing homes or with home attendants.

Achieving that goal has been elusive in the first six months of the new administration, and the bill unveiled Thursday is already under threat of collapse.

Like this: