Affordable Care Act

Senate’s ‘Secret’ Health Care Bill Cuts Medicaid, Eliminates Taxes for Wealthy

"Secret" plan was intentionally kept from public eye to gain favor from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's constituents

by Shantell E. Jamison, June 22, 2017

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Affordable Care Act

President Barack Obama speaking to a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform in 2009

Lawrence Jackson/Whitehouse.gov

The Senate has finally released its “secret” health care bill, and it isn’t pretty. The Republican-dominated congressional branch made its plan—meant to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare”—public Thursday, CNN reports.

This is the first time the majority of the Senate gets to take a comprehensive look at the proposal that will affect millions if passed. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is pushing for a vote on the plan as soon as next week, leaving senators just a few days to decide whether to support or vote against the legislation.

The bill, similar to the House’s version that passed last month, includes a few key changes, including major changes to the nation’s health care system. It repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate and drastically cuts back federal support of Medicaid. The proposal also eliminates Obamacare’s taxes on the wealthy, insurers and others.

The Senate’s proposed plan, however, would keep the subsidies that came with Obamacare to help people pay for individual coverage.

McConnell’s decision to keep the details of the plan under wraps was reportedly intentional, and aimed at winning support from his colleagues out of the public spotlight.
But the process wasn’t executed without infuriating both Democrats and Republicans. And if more than two Republicans vote against the bill, McConnell’s chances of passing it will be voided.
“I hope we are going to surprise with a really good plan,” President Donald Trump said at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, late Wednesday. “You know I’ve been talking about a plan with heart. I said add some money to it. A plan with heart, but Obamacare is dead.”
Both moderates and conservatives in the House and Senate were deeply divided on health care policy, with lawmakers mostly being concerned about Medicaid reform, regulatory waivers, the state stability fund and tax credits.

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