The next several days could be critical to the future of the ongoing Senate health care negotiations. While there are still several major sticking points, most notably how to address pre-existing conditions and Medicaid funding, it will be difficult to pass legislation before the July 4th recess if the Senate’s version of an ObamaCare repeal bill isn’t finished soon.
(Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell is speeding toward a vote, with the goal of passing a healthcare bill the last week of June, before the Fourth of July recess.
Republicans have said there will be no committee hearings or markups for the bill, a major departure from the standard Senate process. Instead, the bill will go straight to the floor for a vote.
Democrats fear the legislation will be kept secret until just a couple of days before the vote, to minimize time for opposition to build.
According to Vox.com, “Behind closed doors, the Senate is drawing closer to passing a health care bill that looks a lot like the widely disliked version that cleared the House….The votes still aren’t there, but a path has opened to get them. Republicans have negotiated for a month inside back rooms of the Senate. They plan no public hearings on the legislation. Some of their members are eager to vote soon, acknowledging that public pressure against the bill is only likely to grow as the summer wears on.”
If the Senate plan turns out to be similar to the one passed by the House, an estimated 23 million Americans, hundreds of thousands of Arizonans among them, will lose health coverage according to a report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Numerous health organization have publicly announced their opposition to the current version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) including the American Hospital Association (AHA), American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association. The Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care just released a short video that the organization hopes will serve as a powerful reminder that loss of coverage could affect anyone. Click here or on the picture below to watch it.
The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) has long maintained that while changes to the current health law are needed, we cannot support the AHCA because we do not believe it best serves the people, patients and communities of our state. Click here to send a message to Senators McCain and Flake if you believe, as we do, that the AHCA is not the answer. The clock is ticking and decisions that will greatly affect so many Arizonans could come at any moment. Whether you agree or disagree with our position, we want to hear from you because we believe generating thoughtful conversations around key health issues will help us one day reach our goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!