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Senate GOP Releases Revised Healthcare Bill

Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, have just released ‘modest’ revisions to the “draft” healthcare bill that was dropped last week.  The only substantive change appears to be the addition of a “waiting period” on those who allowed their coverage to lapse for a period of 63 days or more during the prior coverage year.

“Starting in 2019, individuals who had a break in continuous insurance coverage for 63 days or more in the prior year will be subject to a six month waiting period before coverage begins.  Consumers will not have to pay premiums during the six month period.”

Here is a summary of the changes:

 

Of course, the real question now becomes whether or not Republican leaders in the Senate will stick to their guns and force a vote this week.  While Senator Cornyn seems adamant that a vote this week ahead of the July 4th recess is an absolute necessity, perhaps he would be well served to take a look back at how well the rushed process worked out in the House back in March (see: In Stinging Defeat, House Republicans Abandon Obamacare Repeal Effort).

 

Meanwhile, you can all expect to be bombarded by liberal politicians appearing on mainstream media outlets to tell you how even the slightest changes that cut even a single dollar of Medicaid will result in an untold number of deaths. 

As the American Medical Association points out, “medicine has long operated under the precept of Primum non nocere, or ‘first, do no harm’…which we’re sure makes perfect sense to progressive legislators as it essentially implies that you can never, ever cut a single dollar of entitlement spending.  Per The Hill:

“Medicine has long operated under the precept of Primum non nocere, or ‘first, do no harm.’ The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels,” AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James Madara wrote in the letter.

 

“We believe that Congress should be working to increase the number of Americans with access to quality, affordable health insurance instead of pursuing policies that have the opposite effect, and we renew our commitment to work with you in that endeavor.”

 

The Senate GOPs bill would end ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion by 2024 and cap how much the federal government spends on the Medicaid program.

 

The Senate bill would change Medicaid funding from an open-ended commitment from the federal government to states to a per-capita cap, which essentially caps spending by how many enrollees a state has.

 

It would also downsize the subsidies people get to purchase health insurance and make it easier for states to waive out of some ObamaCare regulations.

 

“It seems highly likely,” Madara wrote, that the changes “will expose low and middle income patients to higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care.”

Should be a fun roller coaster ride of a week.

The full text of the bill can be reviewed here:

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