The Senate’s long-awaited health plan draft is out and it includes, among other things,
- big reductions to Medicaid,
- elimination of the individual mandate,
- tax credits to help people buy insurance, and
- tax breaks for some Americans.
The 142-page draft measure would fundamentally alter parts of President Obama’s signature healthcare law.It would make deep cuts to Medicaid, including a gradual rollback of ObamaCare’s expansion of the health insurance program for the poor and disabled.It also scraps billions of dollars in ObamaCare taxes used to pay for the expansion and eliminates the law’s requirement that Americans purchase insurance.
According to Fox News, “The Senate would also provide $50 billion over the next four years that states could use in an effort to shore up insurance markets around the country. For the next two years, it would also provide money that insurers use to help lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of lower income people. Trump has been threatening to discontinue those payments, and some insurance companies have cited uncertainty over those funds as reasons why they are abandoning some markets and boosting premiums.”
The Washington Times added that the proposal “faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.
At least a half-dozen GOP senators – conservatives as well as moderates – have complained about the proposal, the secrecy with which McConnell drafted it and the speed with which he’d like to whisk it to passage. Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, the bill would fail if just three of the Senate’s 52 GOP senators oppose it.
The bill could be voted on as early as next week. President Donald Trump, who recently called the House version of the legislation “mean,” was quoted by Business Insider as saying the new Senate draft needs to be “negotiated” but that it will be “very good.”
Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) President & CEO Greg Vigdor issued a statement following the release of the BCRA which, in part, read:
“To be fair, the legislation produced by the Senate today is not an exact replica of the House’s AHCA. But its spirit – and the consequences if passed – are equally troubling. Of paramount concern is the devastating impact the measure would have on the Medicaid program and the 73 million Americans who depend on it.
On the one hand, the gradual phasing-out of Medicaid expansion under the Senate plan would give states like Arizona more time to identify funding and other alternatives before the program is rolled back. On the other hand, the funding mechanism proposed by the Senate could mean deeper, more painful cuts to Medicaid down the road.
Regardless, this bill is the wrong approach. Reduced Medicaid enrollment means more people without health coverage. This inevitably will result in a massive shift of financial risk and burden from the federal government to states, local healthcare providers and Arizona patients and families.”
Share your thoughts on the new proposal and what you think it will mean for the people, patients and communities of Arizona. Generating conversations around the key health issues that affect our state is a huge part of our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!