BREAKING: Senate Releases Healthcare Bill – Does This Repair or Repeal Obamacare?

BREAKING: Senate Releases Healthcare Bill – Does This Repair or Repeal Obamacare?

The Obamacare replacement released by House Republicans, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), quickly came under massive criticism. So Senate Republicans set about writing an improved version. And after much anticipation, the first draft of the healthcare reform bill was released on Thursday.

When the AHCA was released, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that, if passed, it would cause 23 million Americans to lose health insurance, while also reducing the deficit by $119 billion. The bill was met with heavy disapproval and eventually, even Donald Trump criticized it, calling it “mean.”

So, Senate leadership stepped in to write a more generous version of the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the first draft, which contains tax credits for low-income and elderly Americans, a more gradual rollback of Obamacare and keeps some of Obamacare’s taxes.

Still, the Senate bill faced criticism of its own, including from Senate Republicans, who complained about a lack of transparency. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has been one of the most vocal critics, especially angered that she had not yet seen the bill for herself.

Sen. Mike Lee, Utah, also complained that he hadn’t seen the bill, despite being a member of the Senate’s healthcare working group. Sen. Susan Collins, Maine, said only, “I’m hearing lots of conflicting information.”

With only a small majority of Republicans in the Senate, Republican leadership cannot afford to have a lot of defectors; losing just two votes would require Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie. The Senate will not vote on the bill, however, until the CBO has released their analysis of the bill, which could come as early as Monday. McConnell wants to vote on the bill before the July 4th recess.

Do you think the Senate bill is an improvement?

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