McConnell: Draft of Senate health-care bill expected on ThursdayBaltimore Post-Examiner

McConnell: Draft of Senate health-care bill expected on Thursday

WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that upper chamber Republicans expect to release a draft of their version of the House-approved Obamacare repeal and replacement bill on Thursday and that a floor vote could occur as early as next week.

“I expect to have a discussion draft on Thursday and we will go to the bill obviously once we get a CBO [Congressional Budget Office] score; likely next week,” McConnell told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday accompanied by fellow Senate GOP leaders.

McConnell’s announcement comes less than 24 hours after Senate Democrats mounted a late-night protest via parliamentary inquiries to try and force Republicans to bring the bill out into the open as well as agree to hold hearings upon its release.

Republicans are reportedly crafting the legislation behind closed doors.

The House of Representatives last month narrowly passed a revised version of the American Health Care Act.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in March was forced to pull the original bill from the floor after learning that it did not have sufficient support to pass.

The AHCA mandates coverage for the sick and those with preexisting conditions but also allows insurers to charge higher rates to those persons if they experience a lapse in coverage.

The AHCA also would allow states under certain circumstances to apply for waivers that exempt insurance companies from having to cover many of the essential health benefits that are guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.

The CBO in May estimated that the AHCA would strip 23 million Americans of their health coverage over the next decade, but also would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over the same duration. The CBO estimated that the original bill would have stripped 24 million people of their health coverage.

Several moderate GOP Senators who represent states that have accepted Medicaid expansion plans per the Affordable Care Act have expressed concern over the drastic Medicaid cuts included in the AHCA.

Reported negotiations include proposals to extend the Medicaid expansion sunset date as well as allocate more money to cover people with pre-exisiting conditions.

Democrats have long opposed repealing the Affordable Care Act and have instead tried to convince Republicans to work toward fixing problems associated with the law. Many Democrats have referred to the AHCA as “Trumpcare.”

Congress adjourns on June 29 for one week for the Fourth of July recess.

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News     

 





About the author

Bryan Renbaum

Bryan is a reporter and political columnist with Baltimore Post-Examiner and has broken multiple stories involving athletic scandals. He has been interviewed by ABC's Good Morning America as well as Baltimore area radio stations. Bryan has both covered and worked in the Maryland General Assembly and is extremely knowledgeable of politics, voting patterns and American history. In addition to his regular duties, Bryan freelances for several publications and performs investigative research. He has a B.A. in Political Science. Contact the author.
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