If they pass the GOP healthcare bill, Republicans in Congress will have to tell Americans that “they have to start worrying again” about paying for care, former Vice President Joe Biden wrote in a column for The Washington Post. The newest Obamacare repeal bill in the Senate still includes the steep Medicaid cuts that the House bill did. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell increased that number to $45 billion, but Biden said he is “missing the point”.
Republicans control the Senate by a 52-48 margin.
The top USA doctors’ group, the American Medical Association, on Friday called the new bill inadequate and said more bipartisan collaboration is needed in the months ahead to improve the delivery and financing of healthcare. Moreover, Republican Senator John McCain is recovering from surgery in hospital.
You can imagine what conservatives will say: Why do we need Democratic support when they forced Obamacare through without one Republican vote?
Cruz and Lee proposed an amendment to the original McConnell bill that would allow insurers to provide health care plans that are not compliant with Obamacare’s intrusive and expensive mandates, provided they also offered an Obamacare compliant plan. Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy floated an alternative plan.
But two major health insurance groups, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, called on McConnell to drop the Cruz proposal, saying it would undermine protections for pre-existing medical conditions, raise insurance premiums and destabilise the individual insurance market. All for tax breaks for the wealthy.
After weeks of wrangling, Senate Republicans unveiled a revised version of their healthcare bill on Thursday, with GOP leaders planning a vote, or at least a procedural one, in the upcoming week.