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Health Bill Faces Uncertain Future in the Senate

08 May 2017

"I was given the impression it would be a blank sheet of paper", he said, while adding of the House-passed legislation: "I'm not sure this is the last bill".

By guaranteeing maternity care and making coverage available for people with pre-existing conditions, Obamacare largely did away with the markup on women's health insurance. Many senators consider the House bill too harsh and it's expected to undergo substantial changes.

"We expect there to be some changes, but we expect the principles and the main pillars of the healthcare bill as it exists now to remain the same", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. He said he was particularly anxious about proposed cuts to Medicaid, including funds for treating people with opioid drug problems.

And Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said over Twitter: "A bill - finalized yesterday, has not been scored, amendments not allowed, and 3 hours final debate - should be viewed with caution".

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Yes, the current Republican bill has enough landmines to anger Senate liberals and conservatives alike.

The House Republicans' bill passed Thursday with one vote to spare - 217-213. Many agencies were closed for 16 days in a policy and funding dispute over former President Barack Obama's national health care reform legislation. That is likely to lead to more frustration for President Donald Trump, who has already expressed disappointment in the slow-moving ways of Congress. Critics groused that this shifted the burden unfairly to men and women who didn't plan to have children; in March, for instance, Illinois Representative John Shimkus, a Republican, said one of his primary objections to Obamacare was "men having to purchase prenatal care".

Republicans have long contended that the law is an unprecedented overreach of federal authority. More than 2.2 million Americans have some type of pre-existing condition, and $23 billion would provide coverage for only 110,000 of them. The bill, which seeks to replace Obamacare, now heads to Senate. The ad will focus on key elements of the American Health Care Act and thank Ryan and fellow Republicans for "keeping their promise" on the health care issue, the group said.

Throughout the House negotiation, many GOP lawmakers complained that the Byrd rule was preventing them from doing more to repeal Obamacare.

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Republican leaders said a 12-member working group would now take the reins to come up with a draft and build consensus. In deciding to vote yes, Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo - considered the most endangered Republican in Congress because of his moderate district - took a risky gamble that appears based on politics, not people.

The Republican push to replace the Affordable Care Act comes as more insurers drop out of the program or curb their participation for 2018. The status quo is also health insurance premiums going up. Obamacare's generous federal assistance enticed IL and many other states to massively expand their rolls.

Because of the speed with which Republicans rushed the bill through the House, the Congressional Budget Office hasn't yet had time to estimate the number of Americans who would lose their health insurance or how premiums would be affected. Obamacare is simple: Insurers have to cover people with pre-existing conditions and can't charge them more. "But states also have a responsibility to their citizens, and now they have this money from (Michigan Rep.) Fred Upton's negotiations to provide extra payment for people with pre-existing conditions", said Turner.

Christine Eibner, a senior economist at the RAND Corporation, said it might be hard for people to maintain continuous coverage in some circumstances.

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"There's already a lot more energy and engagement among Democratic voters, and this is going to put the enthusiasm gap on steroids for Democrats", said Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, who advises Priorities USA, a top liberal political organization.

Health Bill Faces Uncertain Future in the Senate