Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Senate holds key to better health care insurance

Senate holds key to better health care insurance

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME, a moderate Republican whose vote will be critical in getting a bill to Trump's desk, voiced concerns about potential higher costs for older people and those with pre-existing conditions.

The bill's passage buoyed President Donald Trump, but the measure appeared headed for an overhaul in the Senate.

The bill would lead to major cuts to the Medicaid program, which funds care for the poor and disabled. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Senate minority leader, speaking at an unrelated news conference, also criticized the new health care bill, saying he was concerned the measure would make it more hard for Americans with pre-existing health conditions to find affordable coverage.

But Price insisted Sunday, "There are no cuts to the Medicaid program", adding that resources were being apportioned "in a way that allows states greater flexibility". It would dilute consumer-friendly insurance coverage requirements, like prohibiting higher premiums for customers with pre-existing medical conditions and watering down the subsidies that help consumers afford health insurance.

Collins also said she'd like to see a bipartisan group in the Senate working on a bill, with Democrats acknowledging that the PPACA has problems and Republicans making sure coverage is not reduced.

Major medical and other groups, including the American Medical Association, opposed the House bill. The ad will focus on key elements of the American Health Care Act and thank Ryan and fellow Republicans for "keeping their promise" on the health care issue, the group said.

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"The Republicans are now looking for a unicorn, something that can make the radical right-wing members of the House of Representatives happy, and a bill that make simultaneously those senators that come from states that have already opted into the Affordable Care Act happy", he said Monday, according to The Boston Globe.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called on Senate Republicans to reject the U.S. House plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, calling the measure a "cruel and unsafe bill", that would leave millions of Americans "stranded without the health care they need".

However, he also seemed to make a point of giving the Senate time to make changes, despite Trump's strong desire to fulfill his campaign promise of repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

"This is one stage in a multistage legislative process", he said.

"We think we need to do even more support for people who are older and also more support for people with pre-existing conditions", Ryan told ABC.

Price commented on CNN's "State of the Union".

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