June 22, 2017 (WASHINGTON) The long-awaited Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), dubbed Trumpcare was released. This will give the Senate a week be- fore it is brought to the floor by Majority Senate Leader Mitch McConnnell. You can read the legislation here.
The bill essentially is the same bill as the House version, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored as leading to the loss of health care for 23 million Americans. There are some differences to the House version.
The Medicaid expansion would continue until 2021, and then phased out slowly. However, by 2025 it would calculate growth for the program using the standard inflation rate, instead of the medical inflation rate with his higher. This in time will strangle the program and make it ineffective. State governments will be left with the Faustian choice of not covering people’s medical care or going bankrupt. Assuming states do not find other ways to cover the programs for the neediest among us.
This will affect chiefly the poor and senior citizens who rely on this program to stay afloat and see a doctor. It will lead to a sicker population. This will translate to a less productive population.
It will keep the premium subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but will tighten requirements in 2020. It will also reduce eligibility to 350 percent of the poverty level from 400 percent for middle-class people. This is partly by design, so fewer people have buy-in but will hurt the middle class., which is already struggling. However, with the reduction of taxes for the wealthiest of Americans this will be a transfer of wealth to the wealthiest in the country.
It will defund planned parenthood for one year, and will also prevent the funding of abortions except when the life of the mother is at risk, or rape and incest were at play.
This legislation has yet to be scored, but we do not expect too many changes in the long term projections. It also places the worst effects of the program until after two more electoral cycles, effectively protecting politicians from the backlash. As is the ACA is now more popular than ever.
It is also clear that it does not touch pre-existing conditions. However, it is also taking away the taxes that help finance the program. It also gets rid of the medical device taxes. It is a carefully crafted bill to try to get to 50 votes. However, even with these compromises to the moderate wing of the caucus, the conservatives will likely balk at this, For example, Rand Paul from Kentucky called the house version Oamacare-Lite.This is not ripping the program out of the soil either.
The state of California is working on its own single payer program. This will be more critical for the state as the Federal Government retreats from healthcare. As is, Senator Paul was not happy with the process, which led to him introducing legislation to prevent this secret process from happening again.
We now know for GOP Senators oppose the bill. This is from Paul’s press room :
Sens. Paul, Cruz, Johnson, and Lee Issue Joint Statement on Senate Health Bill
WASHINGTON – Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement Thursday responding to the release of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017:
“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor. There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.”