AARP to Senate on Latest Version of Health Bill: Still Harmful

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Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to members of the media on Capitol Hill Thursday, July 13, 2017. Planned Parenthood would be banned from the Medicaid program for one year; Also eliminated is Medicaid expansion starting in 2021, which was adopted by 31 states and the District of Columbia. "Still deep cuts to Medicaid", she tweeted.

The loss of those funds would devastate health care services for people with mental illness, who are some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the country, said Bethany Lilly, deputy director of policy and legal advocacy at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, an advocacy group. Reporters on the Hill have taken to calling the carve-out to help Alaskans the "Polar Payoff", the "Kodiak Kickback", and even the "Juno Jackpot" - a special gift to the state, inserted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to win Murkowski's vote. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan called off a vote in March in the face of a rebellion involving the disparate factions of the party but managed to coax enough lawmakers to back it and engineered narrow approval on May 4. They include: Murkowski; Jeff Flake of Arizona; Mike Lee of Utah; John Hoeven of North Dakota; Bill Cassidy of Louisiana; Thom Tillis of North Carolina; Ben Sasse of Nebraska; Thad Cochran of Mississippi; Cory Gardner of Colorado; and Todd Young of Indiana. It makes no sense to me that the federal government would favor able-bodied adults over all other Medicaid recipients, such as disabled children, whose costs are reimbursed at 50% by the federal government. They also said the plan would leave consumers with fewer insurance options, so "millions of more individuals will become uninsured". Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. "It still would result in millions of Americans losing coverage while many would pay more".

Satisfaction with Medicaid was high both in states that expanded Medicaid and in those that did not, as well as across all demographic groups, the authors found.

The bill also seeks to win the support of senators from OH and West Virginia by putting in more money for opioid addiction treatment, and boosting state subsidies for Florida, Louisiana and other red states.

There is an increase in the opposition to the new bill; half of the Americans are in the support for ObamaCare while only 44 percent are in unfavorable view of the law, according to the poll conducted. "With people's lives on the line, we urge the Senate to stop this madness and reject this harmful piece of legislation". That provision is unsettling to some Senate moderates, like Sen.

The new BCRA includes a tweaked version of the Cruz amendment that stipulates if health insurers were to cover a "sufficient minimum coverage" on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges, then they could also offer more affordable health plans outside of the Obamacare exchanges - exempt from many Obamacare insurance regulations.

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Republicans have complained Obamacare's comprehensive coverage forces individuals to buy expensive coverage for things many don't need such as maternity and newborn care.

"It is diabolical because this bill encourages states to gut essential coverage".

But critics said that money might be needed to address another aspect of the bill that would reduce premium subsidies, resulting in higher premiums and deductibles. In op-eds and television interviews he said the subsidies go to insurance companies that already make billions in profit. It is diabolical because it deeply cuts the Medicaid coverage that 60% of nursing home residents rely on to pay their bills.

Betsy Ryan, New Jersey Hospital Association President and CEO, said the best way to ensure good health is to ensure consumers can access the services they need at a price they can afford, and to strengthen the quality of care in an effort to improve value.

Cassidy, Hoeven, Portman, Capito, and Heller said that their votes will depend on the analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, which dealt a blow last month to the Senate legislation when it projected that 22 million people would be without health insurance in 2026.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said his goal is "to vote on healthcare reform legislation that will be affordable and practical for Oklahomans of all socioeconomic levels and all health conditions".

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