Senate Airs Obamacare Repeal 'Draft'

John Commins, June 22, 2017

After weeks of secret meetings, Senate Republicans have released a ‘discussion draft’ of their proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and hope to rush the sweeping legislation to a Senate floor vote before the July 4 recess.

Senate Republicans today released their version of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

On key points the Senate bill essentially copies the American Health Care Act, which was passed by House Republicans last month on a strict, party line vote.

The Senate bill:

  • Eliminates the individual mandate.
     
  • Eliminates Obamacare’s 3.8% tax on investment income on income above $200,000.
     
  • Phases out Medicaid expansion by 2023, potentially putting at risk health insurance coverage for more than 10 million Americans.
     
  • Adopts the House plan for a per capita cap on Medicaid spending, and in 2025 shifts the growth in spending away from the consumer price index for medical care to the lower CPI for all goods, which could result in significantly smaller annual federal funding increases to account for inflation.
     
  • Maintains Obamacare subsidies to help pay for individual coverage.
     
  • Provides $2 billion to help states deal with the opioids abuse crisis.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has yet to score the bill.

Republican Senate leaders have come under intense criticism, even from within their own party, for drafting the legislation in secret. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, has said he hopes to have the bill up for a floor vote before the Senate’s July 4 recess.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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