June 28, 2017

Senate may keep some Obamacare taxes in US healthcare overhaul

16 June 2017, 11:46 | Darrel Baker

U.S. Capitol is seen after the House approved a bill to repeal major parts of Obamacare and replace it with a Republican healthcare plan

U.S. Capitol is seen after the House approved a bill to repeal major parts of Obamacare and replace it with a Republican healthcare plan

If Republicans wipe out the Affordable Care Act and de-insure tens of millions of people, they will prove a few things to Democrats. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can muster enough support to pass the bill. Just this week, he called the House version "mean" - causing concern about how forcefully he will support the Senate bill in the coming weeks. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the bill. "Well, we have seen it either, we're told we're going to vote on it in a matter of days". "We're trying to do this in a careful, thoughtful sort of way".

Delaying the repeal or keeping more of the ObamaCare taxes would be the easiest fix, but it risks creating a backlash on the right - and substantial pushback could imperil the bill's prospects.

The Senate HELP Committee approved its user fee bill last month, but votes by the full House and Senate could be delayed until July as Republicans continue to debate separate healthcare legislation.

So that's what Senate Republicans are doing - behind closed doors.

The House's bill would repeal almost all of ObamaCare's taxes retroactively to the start of 2017.

Murray went on to accuse the Trump administration of "sabotaging our health-care system as a tactic" to push for Obamacare replacement legislation. The nonpartisan Urban Institute projects that a Medicaid cap would cut federal funding for ME by $1 billion over 10 years.

The Senate took up the repeal effort in May, after the House passed a bill so quickly that Congressional researchers didn't have time to analyze its effects.

"I've been talking about repealing and replacing Obamacare now for nearly two years", Trump announced, before veering wildly off topic. The danger to it is giving House and Senate members the chance to add riders or amendments or whatever else to lessen the bill's effectiveness. And that could cost money. Some lawmakers are looking at three years beyond the House deadline of January 1, 2020, and others favor seven years beyond that date. The largest of those offices, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, was the subject of a scathing state audit last month that that found its leaders were paid $1.2 million more than the law allowed, and that the office was paying for extravagances such as first-class plane tickets, charter flights, and out-of-state retreats at luxury hotels.

"It's a hope, it's an aspiration, it's the plan", Thune said, when asked about the timeline.

Those payments help cover out-of-pocket medical expenses for low-income Americans.

"You want to know what your costs are for the different options, because there are so many things on the air in it", Sen.

"We want to eliminate or phase out all the taxes we can", Sen.

"It's no secret that the administration's actions are the primary reasons that premiums are spiking or insurers are leaving the market", she said.

"I don't know of anyone who has seen a copy of this bill", said Sen.

"The Obamacare status quo is unsustainable and unacceptable", said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said. Wolf said he still hasn't gotten a response on what exactly will be in the bill. "In order to do that, you've got to have revenue streams".

This all doubtlessly comes as rude news to those 217 Republicans who pulled the lever for the impressively unpopular AHCA, particularly those in the fiscally conservative House Freedom Caucus (HFC) who held their nose and voted for an admittedly flawed bill (and process that produced it) in part to assuage a mercurial president who went after them collectively and individually after they'd scuttled a previous version. While the discussions were said to have narrowed some differences, senior staff said senators are not close to resolving the thorny issues that have divided conservative and moderate lawmakers.

After the CBO score came out, showing a remarkably punitive piece of legislation, Republicans decided not to vote on the bill.

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