What’s to Come of Health Care with the Senate’s Plan

By Alexandra Reboredo

“This will be great if we get it done and if we don’t get it done it’s going to be something that we’re not going to like and that’s OK and I can understand that,” says President Trump on the development of one of his main campaign promises: repealing and replacing Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to win Senate passage this week. To be approved, only two of the 52 GOP senators can vote against it. Currently, three GOP senators are threatening to vote against a procedural motion to begin debate on the bill expected Wednesday.

Such opposition from GOP senators was sparked after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office offered an analysis of the health care bill and its effects.

The CBO said that 22 million people are expected to lose healthcare coverage by 2026 under the Senate’s projected plan. Of the 22 million, 15 million of those are expected to lose Medicaid coverage–which covers low-income people including children, pregnant women, the elderly in nursing homes, and the disabled.

However, for individuals who purchase health coverage on exchanges, prices are expected to vary by state. Prices will be lower for states that opt out of consumer protection, which allows insurers to offer less benefits to its consumers.

But for benefits that were covered under the Affordable Care Act, like maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health coverage, and addiction treatment, the cost could skyrocket.

For many Senators, the CBO’s analysis of the current bill was the decisive factor. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was a key moderate vote in the Republican conference. As of Monday, she made it clear she cannot vote for the legislation, or even a motion to forward it on the floor.

“I want to work w/ my GOP & Dem colleagues to fix the flaws in ACA. CBO analysis shows Senate bill won’t do it. I will vote no on mtp,” she shared via Twitter.

Another member of the GOP Senate conference, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin–one of four conservative Republicans who came out against the legislation when it was released last week–didn’t see the bill succeeding.

Utah Senator Mike Lee has become the fifth Republican senator to oppose the motion of starting debate on the health care bill. Lee joins Johnson amongst the four conservative senators that oppose the bill in its current state.

 

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