Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., have been calling on Senate leaders to maintain House-passed reforms, including a waiver that could allow insurers to charge more for people with preexisting conditions.
About a dozen Senate Republicans met Tuesday with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss efforts to replace Obamacare. They are so ashamed of their health care plan, they want to pass it in the dead of night. But very importantly, it’s a great plan.
A recurring line of opposition was that it doesn’t fully cover Americans with pre-existing conditions.
“I’ve been talking about repealing and replacing Obamacare now for nearly two years”, he said.
Senate Republican leaders drafting a measure to revamp USA health-care policy appear to be following the same path as their House counterparts: writing a bill behind closed doors before springing it on other lawmakers and the public close to a vote.
The process has invited ire from The New York Times editorial board, which wrote on Tuesday that Republican senators were working on a bill that could take away insurance from millions of people – all while refusing to subject the bill to public scrutiny.
By contrast, the bill Senate Republicans are writing is being held as close as the nuclear codes. The plan, apparently, is to send the bill to the CBO for a score before it is then released to the public. Assuming he did not mean these words as complimentary, they were definitely embarrassing, given his stout support for and intensive lobbying on behalf of the self-same “mean son-of-a-bitch” bill in the House.
And with good reason, because when the CBO did look at the bill, it turned out that it would have left 23 million more Americans without health coverage and would slash $834 billion in health care for the poor. Considering a number of offsets and spending, over the next decade the bill would save the government a total of $119 billion.
As the Associated Press reported, Trump told GOP senators the AHCA was “mean” and urged them not to “get this passed through the Senate” but to come up with a “more generous” bill instead. Perhaps the second-most-vulnerable Republican senator, Jeff Flake, is a bit luckier: Arizonans only disapprove of AHCA by a net margin of 14 points. If the administration guaranteed it would pay the subsidies, the increase would have been just 8.8 percent, he said, telling Vox’s Sarah Kliff that the North Carolina market has actually been stabilizing “in terms of price, utilization and the customer base”. BuzzFeed’s article said Trump used the phrase “son of a bitch” to describe the pending legislation. “How do we do it?'” But that was before a small group of senators began working in private to develop a bill that might pass that body.
There are a few issues that still divide the Republican conference, including funding the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. The 2010 ACA bill known as Obamacare sought to get all Americans on some form of health insurance.
“We have no idea what is being proposed”.
The President will likely accept whatever they come up with – “Pretty obviously (he’s) not a details guy”, one Republican aide said – but will eventually be called on to help rally support for the final product.