The secrecy surrounding the latest version of our nation’s health care legislation could end as soon as tomorrow. That’s when the Senate is expected to unveil details of its plan aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
U.S. Senate Republicans plan to unveil the text of their draft health-care bill on Thursday as senators struggle over issues such as the future of the Medicaid program for the poor and bringing down insurance costs.
Republicans in the chamber have been working for weeks behind closed doors on legislation aimed at repealing and replacing major portions of the Affordable Care Act, former Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law, popularly known as Obamacare.
The effort has been plagued from the start by tensions between moderates and conservatives, which surfaced again on Tuesday. Democrats have also criticized the behind-the-scenes meetings, staging a protest on the Senate floor on Monday.
According to National Public Radio (NPR), “The structure of the Senate bill, as described by GOP senators and aides, appears fundamentally the same as the House-passed plan. The Senate bill is also expected to repeal the individual mandate and all or most of the ACA’s taxes, phase out the Medicaid expansion as well as change how the Medicaid program is funded, establish a system of tax credits to help people buy insurance if they choose, and make it easier for states to opt-out of the ACA’s mandates for preexisting conditions and minimum insurance coverage mandates.”
The New York Times claims cuts to Medicaid and the need to curb the growing opioid epidemic are causing a rift among some Senate Republicans. And CNN.com put together a video that shows some of that division as Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah took to Facebook Live to tell constituents, “if you’re frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process, I share your frustration. I share it wholeheartedly.” Click here or on the picture below to watch the video.
Arizona Senator John McCain was quoted in a tweet by CNN as saying he is not happy with the secretive health care negotiations.
According to a story in TheHill.com, no Democrat is expected to vote ‘for’ the bill, so Republicans cannot afford to lose more than two votes from its own party or the legislation will not receive enough votes pass.
We’d love to hear what you think about the secretive way the bill has been put together and on whether you believe our Senators should support or oppose 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 current version of 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!