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Published On: Fri, Jun 23rd, 2017

US Senate release Obamacare replacement plan, immediately attacked by critics

Setting the headlines on fire, the U.S. Senate Republicans finally rolled out their “Obamacare” package, garnering immediate attacks from critics.

The 142-page bill would create a new system of federal tax credits to help people buy health insurance, while offering states the ability to drop many of the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, like maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment.

READ THE FULL TEXT HERE OR HERE

photo LaDawna Howard via Flickr

Four GOP senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, announced that they would oppose it without changes.

“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,” the four wrote in a joint statement.

Other Republican senators, like Dean Heller of Nevada and Rob Portman of Ohio, expressed their own qualms, as did AARP, the American Hospital Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“We are extremely disappointed by the Senate bill released today,” the medical school association wrote. “Despite promises to the contrary, it will leave millions of people without health coverage, and others with only bare-bones plans that will be insufficient to properly address their needs.”

The NY Times notes that “The Senate version is, in some respects, more moderate than the House bill, offering more financial assistance to some lower-income people to help them defray the rapidly rising cost of private health insurance.

“But the Senate bill would make subsidies less generous than under current law. It would also lower the annual income limit for receiving subsidies to cover insurance premiums to 350 percent of the poverty level, or about $42,000 for an individual, from 400 percent.”

The CBO will score the bill over the weekend and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning for a vote late next week.

If it passes, the House and Senate would need to hash out their differences and vote again on a compromise measure.

CNN noted differences between Obamacare, the House plan and now the Senate plan

MEDICAID SPENDING AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL INSTEAD OF THE STATE LEVEL

Obamacare greatly expanded Medicaid and mostly paid for it…The Senate bill would continue Medicaid expansion under Obamacare for three years, then begin to roll it back in 2021.

photo Andrew Aliferis via Flickr

MANDATES COVERAGE FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

Obamacare guarantees coverage even for people with pre-existing conditions and bans insurers from charging people based on their health. The House bill would allow states to opt out of the latter provision. The Senate bill does not.

GUARANTEE OF ESSENTIAL BENEFITS

Obamacare required every health plan to cover certain essential benefits — everything from maternity and hospital care to prescription drugs and mental health. Both the Senate and House bill would allow states to redefine what qualifies as an “essential” element of a health care plan. (examples noted were prescription drugs, mental health)

PLANNED PARENTHOOD FUNDING

Obamacare, in accordance with federal law, provides funding and reimbursements to the women’s health care provider, with the exception that none of that money can directly pay for or offset abortion services. Both the House and Senate bill would immediately cut off Planned Parenthood for at least one year.

OBAMACARE TAXES

Obamacare helped raise money for its expansion of health coverage by levying two new taxes on the wealthy. Both the House and Senate bills eliminate Obamacare taxes on the wealthy and insurers.

FAKE NEWS: Had to call “fake news” on this one because the bias is too much: “raise money” and “taxes on the wealthy” are very loaded phrases as the impact on MANY NON-WEALTHY Americans is already felt and TAXATION is NOT raising money. — BBJ, The Dispatch

OBAMACARE TAX SUBSIDIES

Because it forced people to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Obamacare provided tax subsidies to help people — up to a certain income level — pay for it. The Senate bill is largely in line with Obamacare, tying subsidies for people paying for individual coverage to prices where they live and their income. The House legislation would only consider age.

INDIVIDUAL INSURANCE MANDATE

Under Obamacare, nearly everyone had to either obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. That requirement would be fully reversed by the Senate bill. The House version also removed the mandate, but includes a provision that allows insurers to impose a 30% surcharge on individuals who allow their coverage to lapse, then want to sign on again.

EMPLOYER AFFORDABILITY MANDATE

Most Americans actually get their health insurance through an employer and not through the government or health insurance exchanges. Both the House and Senate bill would strip the Obamacare provision requiring larger employers to provide affordable coverage.

Obamacare will now go from campaign rallies to a full scale marketing campaign, costing millions Photo by Infrogmation

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Barabara Lee calls Senate health care plan ‘heart less’ and GOP are ‘morally bankrupt’ ‘racist’ | The Global Dispatch says:

    […] US Senate release Obamacare replacement plan, immediately attacked by critics […]

  2. Elizabeth Warren says Senate health care bill is ‘blood money’ paying for ‘tax cuts with human lives’ | The Global Dispatch says:

    […] US Senate release Obamacare replacement plan, immediately attacked by critics […]

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