According to congressional aides and lobbyists, Senate Republicans’ proposed repeal and replacement of ObamaCare would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not purchasing insurance and cancel a number of tax increases.
The bill is due to be released Thursday following weeks of closed-door meetings that drew strong criticism from Democrats and some Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hopes to hold a vote on the new healthcare plan next week.
The Senate bill differs from the version that the House approved in May in that it eliminates waivers allowing states to let insurers raise premiums on some people with pre-existing conditions.
The legislation is said to largely retain the subsidies ObamaCare provided to help millions purchase insurance, which are based mostly on people’s incomes and the premiums they pay.
The Associated Press reported that “The House’s tax credits were tied to people’s ages, a change the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would boost out-of-pocket costs to many lower earners. Starting in 2020, the Senate version would begin shifting increasing amounts of tax credits away from higher earners, making more funds available to lower-income recipients, some officials said.”
A number of Republican senators have signaled opposition to the legislation. Conservatives such as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., have threatened to oppose the bill if it does not fully dismantle ObamaCare. Moderate senators, including Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, have voiced concern that the legislation would cause many people to lose coverage.
Democrats are expected to uniformly oppose the Senate bill which would fail if just three of the chamber’s 52 Republicans opt to vote against it.
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