Not 'that far off' from passing health overhaul

At this point, it's only a matter of degrees how misguided and cruel the proposals are by Republicans in Congress to "fix" America's health care system.

He was referring to former President Barack Obama's promise in 2009 that the Affordable Care Act would let people keep their existing insurance plans and their doctors. He says that the legislation has slowed down the pace of rising healthcare costs and slams the Republican version as a hastily arrived antithesis to what Obamacare stands for.

The Senate bill would also erase the tax penalties Obama's 2010 law imposes on people who don't purchase insurance.

A fifth GOP senator has come out against the Senate Republicans' health care bill, which can only afford to have two GOP senators vote against it.

While Donald Trump has reiterated that Obamacare is dead.

The GOP's biggest Medicaid change involves limiting future federal financing. He's particularly concerned about spending cuts to Medicaid included in the bill. Instead, Republicans propose a per-beneficiary cap. That includes low-income adults, children, seniors, and those with disabilities. About 11 million are covered by the expansion.

The provision, authored by GOP Congressmen John Faso of Kinderhook and Chris Collins of western NY, is a carryover form the House's American Health Care Act.

Medicaid limits got very little attention in the 2016 presidential campaign. His record is not ideal, but he commands unquestioned respect from most of his conference, especially after his decision to hold a Supreme Court seat vacant after Antonin Scalia's death previous year paid off when Trump won the presidency and appointed conservative Neil Gorsuch to a lifetime seat. Indeed, candidate Trump had started out promising no cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. And we'll see if we can take care of that, " Trump said in an interview with "Fox and Friends".

But the human consequences could be politically volatile. But it would still force those states to figure out what to do about the millions of lower-income Americans who used it to gain health coverage. Consumer organizations like AARP are also opposed. The federal share drops to 90 percent after 2020. Progress has stalled, partly because "Obamacare" is politically divisive.

The bill's arrival in the Senate follows the May approval of a House version by a vote of 217 to 213.

It "would have a profoundly negative impact on Americans", said John Meigs, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. All the taunts over conservative obstruction, all the insistences that a federally administered entitlement could never be reduced, must sound like a fight song to most Republicans as they near the summit.

"They fight each other", the U.S. leader continued.

"It's going to be very hard to get me to a yes", he said, noting that conservative Republican senators would likely be reluctant to add spending back to the measure.

Republicans would make no significant changes to employer-provided coverage, which remains the mainstay of private insurance.

In addition, the legislation in 2019 would discontinue a second ACA subsidy - the cost-sharing reductions offered to anyone earning less than 250 percent of the poverty level. About 10 million are in the ACA's markets. Assuming none of the Senate Democrats support the bill, as is expected, at least 50 of the 52 Senate Republicans would need to vote in favor to achieve passage.

Under both the Senate and House bills, that surcharge goes away in 2023.

Senate bill: Tax credits primarily based on income, age and geography, but would cover a simpler plan.

In fairness, the loophole was essentially created by Republicans and others when a Supreme Court decision meant that states were no longer required to expand Medicaid. He's certainly been very good at opposition, but his ability to pass bills into law, especially from his current position, is still unproven. Of course. But we shouldn't scrap what's working for a new plan that increases costs, allows insurance companies to charge more for people with pre-existing conditions, and gives tax breaks to the wealthy and insurance and drug companies. The amendment contributed to a breakdown in relations between the state's Republican members of congress and Gov., Andrew Cuomo, who has said the amendment will "devastate the NY health care system".

ACA: Subsidies to insurers help people pay deductibles and copays.

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