|July 17, 2017
The Latest on the Senate Republican Health Care Proposal
But Senator McCain's condition may be more serious than originally thought, and it may delay his return to Washington by one to two weeks, according to a story in the New York Times. If he is out two weeks, there will not be a vote until the first week of August, at the earliest. Many in Washington are waiting for the pathology report before speculating on a timetable. Still, Sen. McCain is one of several Republican senators who are reported as still undecided on the bill, and it is unknown whether it will proceed even after his return. Several wavering senators are waiting for the CBO analysis of the bill before announcing their decisions.
Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King have both expressed opposition to the proposal. If the measure should pass the Senate, it is anticipated that House Republicans would quickly pass the Senate version of the legislation and send it to the President's desk for his signature. But there is no guarantee of that given that the original House bill passed by the narrow margin of 217-213.
On Friday, a joint statement in opposition to the portion of the bill that was added at the request of Sen. Ted Cruz was issued by America's Health Care Plans and the BlueCross BlueShield Association. The statement described the Cruz proposal as "unworkable in any form" and said it would "undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions." increase premiums and lead many to lose coverage.
The provision objected to would allow insurers to sell low cost policies with skimpy coverage so long as they also sell policies that meet the requirements of the ACA, including covering the essentials benefits.
The Congressional Budget Office is expected to score the bill early this week. MMA members are encouraged to communicate with both Senators Collins and King and express their thanks for protecting coverage and Medicaid funding by opposing the bill.
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