Published: Sat, June 24, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Health insurers says Senate bill's Medicaid cuts to hurt states

Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell has pushed for a vote on the bill next week, but at least four Republicans have publicly voiced their opposition to the bill.

"The Senate bill ... is not a health care bill", Obama wrote.

The Senate proposal is broadly similar to the bill passed by House Republicans last month, with a few notable differences.

The bill was hashed out behind closed doors, a process that's dismayed many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, according to The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich.

A handful of Republicans - more than Mr. McConnell can afford to lose - were quick to disparage the measure.

GOP Sens. Rob Portman of OH and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia also expressed concerns about the bill's cuts to Medicaid and drug addiction efforts.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders said the health care plan is "by far the most harmful piece of legislation" he has seen in Congress.

Arizona's Republican Gov. Doug Ducey said Friday the Senate GOP bill falls short of what his state needs.

Colombia: ELN Rebels Release Two Dutch Journalists
The violence drew in various anti-government and paramilitary forces and drug gangs, as well as state forces. The Colombian conflict erupted in 1964 when the FARC and the smaller ELN took up arms for rural land rights.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which represents health insurers covering more than 100 million people in the US, said it will continue to push for a replacement for Obamacare's coverage requirement as well.

The four are sticking together to get changes such as fewer government subsidies created to make health insurance more affordable.

Sen. John Thune (S.D.), a member of leadership, said leaders would talk to the four senators about what would get them to yes. Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson are the other four senators opposed to the bill, but their contention is that it doesn't go far enough to repeal Obamacare.

While neither of Louisiana's Republican U.S. senators has committed to back the Senate GOP health plan, advocacy groups seeking to keep the current federal law intact have their focus squarely on only one of them: physician Bill Cassidy. The Senate Bill, however, eliminated those taxes. Trump has since called it "mean", despite celebrating it at the Rose Garden with House Republicans.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the House version of bill would leave 23 million people uninsured.

Seventy-five million individuals rely on Medicaid for health coverage, and the program primarily serves vulnerable populations such as the poor, the disabled, and the elderly. The enhanced federal financing that pays for the expansion would disappear entirely in 2024. Medical professionals, scientists, academics, insurers, and three-quarters of the public rallied against the bill.

Of the four conservatives, Paul has always been seen as the least likely to end up voting for the bill. It would deny coverage to many people with pre-existing conditions.

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