US Senate Republicans to disclose health care bill
US Senate Republicans were preparing to finally disclose their health care overhaul on Friday targeted at fulfilling President Donald Trump’s pledge to take back Obamacare, as Democrats ready a fight to recall the controversial measure. The bill reportedly will be a slightly less austere version of the one that passed the House of Representatives last month.
The House legislation would roll back the expansion of Medicaid, slash Obamacare taxes and, according to a non-partisan congressional forecast, leave 23 million fewer people insured than under current law.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declared a rollout of the Senate bill today morning, as Republicans huddled in the US Capitol to discuss the new legislation. But with the entire bill-drafting process shrouded in secrecy, some Republicans have voiced skepticism about the legislation and how it might impact their constituents.
The White House has dodged questions about the bill. Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price acknowledged he had not seen it. But at a campaign-style rally in the heartland state of Iowa late yesterday, Trump teased supporters with a preview. “I hope we’re going to surprise you with a really good plan,” he said in Cedar Rapids.
“You know I’ve been talking about a plan with heart. I said ‘Add some money to it!'” The proposals stand to upend the landmark Affordable Care Act signed into law by former president Barack Obama. According to The Washington Post, the draft legislation would dramatically roll back the US Medicaid system, but reduce the impact on Americans who stood to lose the most under the House version.
Republicans hold 52 out of 100 seats in the Senate and the latest bill is designed to thread the needle to find an agreement between the conservative wing and more moderate Republicans.