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Senate health care bill: watch Elizabeth Warren school lawmakers on Planned Parenthood

22 June 2017

Some of the Senate bill's provisions could be political land mines, with individual senators' reactions crucial to determining whether or not the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, survives a Republican attack that has been underway since its passage in 2010.

Trump has urged the Republican-led Senate to pass a more "generous" bill than that approved by the House, whose version he privately called "mean", according to congressional sources.

Republicans hold 52 out of 100 seats in the Senate and the latest bill is created to find an agreement between the conservative wing and more moderate Republicans.

I am greatly concerned about the procedure a small group of Republican Senators are using to fashion a health care bill that they want to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

State waivers for Obamacare regulations: The Senate bill would reportedly allow states to obtain a waiver to do away with Obamacare's so-called essential health benefits, which mandate all plans must cover 10 basic types of care.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will present the bill to GOP senators on Thursday and try to get a vote in before the July 4 holiday recess.

Senior GOP senators were still putting final touches on the draft legislation on Wednesday, and it is still likely to change before any vote as members express their preferences.

Sen. Roy Blunt, another member of Senate leadership, said, "I assume we'll vote on this bill whether we have 50 votes or not".

The Post also reported that the current draft would repeal all Obamacare taxes, with the exception of the "Cadillac Tax", which imposes a surcharge on expensive health plans.

They said unresolved questions included how to make sure the subsidies can't be used for policies that provide abortions and how fast they can repeal tax boosts Obama levied on high earners and medical companies to finance his statute's expanded coverage.

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Sen. Mike Lee (R-Ky.) also posted a video to Facebook saying the GOP bill should have been released "weeks ago" if it was going to be voted on next week. Starting in 2020, that threshold would be lowered to 350 percent under the Senate bill - but anyone below that line could get the subsidies if they're not eligible for Medicaid. She said an analysis of the bill by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, expected Monday, would be "extremely important to me because I want to know the impact on coverage and on cost".

"GOP Senate leaders will not allow any official public hearings, nor will they invite amendments in committee or any bipartisan negotiation", an announcement for the Friday hearing reads.

Facing uniform Democratic opposition, the Senate plan would fail if just three of the chamber's 52 Republicans defect.

Pressed by Cuomo on the closed legislative process, Johnson said, "I'm not going to criticize the process unless we start taking a vote way too early".

Come Thursday, we're expected to find out and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski may play a major role in its future.

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Once the plan is unveiled, Senate Republicans will face a skeptical public that thinks the House version would be harmful for low-income Americans and people with pre-existing health conditions, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

Senate health care bill: watch Elizabeth Warren school lawmakers on Planned Parenthood