Senate Healthcare Bill Seems Less Repeal And More Tinker

Senate Healthcare Bill Seems Less Repeal And More Tinker

The Washington Post got it’s hands on a draft copy, and, while there are a few interesting and good things in, it is far, far, far away from an actual repeal and replace

(Washington Post) Senate leaders on Wednesday were putting the final touches on legislation that would reshape a big piece of the U.S. health-care system by dramatically rolling back Medicaid while easing the impact on Americans who stand to lose coverage under a new bill.

A discussion draft circulating Wednesday afternoon among aides and lobbyists would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s taxes, phase down its Medicaid expansion, rejigger its subsidies, give states wider latitude in opting out of its regulations and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

The bill largely mirrors the House measure that narrowly passed last month but with some significant changes aimed at pleasing moderates. While the House legislation tied federal insurance subsidies to age, the Senate bill would link them to income, as the ACA does. The Senate proposal cuts off Medicaid expansion more gradually than the House bill,\ but would enact deeper long-term cuts to the health-care program for low-income Americans. It also removes language restricting federally subsidized health plans from covering abortions, which may have run afoul of complex budget rules.

There’s not a lot more that you need to know. It appears to mostly mimic the House bill, with a few changes, and said House bill was not a repeal and replace, more of a tinker here and there. Getting rid of all the taxes? Great. The rest? Well, it doesn’t really get the government out of the way when it comes to healthcare, it doesn’t empower the relationship between doctors and their patients, it doesn’t make it easier for people to obtain lower cost and usable health insurance, and it still has a penalty/mandate, among others. It doesn’t empower the states that much, and it doesn’t allow the purchase of insurance across state lines. It really doesn’t do much.

Perhaps when we see the actual bill we will see the words “H.R. 3590, also known as as Public Law 111 – 148, ie, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is hereby repealed”, and have it replaced with the ideas Republicans have been saying for years, rather than the stupidity of the House bill. Don’t hold your breath.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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