Commentary

The Senate version of Trumpcare: Worse than we’d imagined

Reporter Amanda Michelle Gomez at Think Progress has the latest in a story entitled “Senate’s health care bill shreds Medicaid and essential health benefits, and more”:

“Any hopes that Senate Republicans would moderate their House colleagues’ health care bill were dashed on Thursday when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) finally unveiled his chamber’s long-awaited version of the GOP health plan. Sen. McConnell’s bill looks a lot like the House’s American Health Care Act—except where its cuts to coverage, particularly Medicaid are even harsher.

Here are some key Senate market reforms in the Senate draft released Thursday:

  • Elimination of the individual and employer mandates.
  • Premium taxes based on age, income, and geography like Obamacare but, but with adjusted thresholds that disproportionately hurt older and poorer Americans
  • Begins to cut Medicaid program expansion starting in 2021, with a three-year phase out. (This will not matter for 8 states with “trigger laws,” which terminate immediately once federal funds are affected.) And then cuts the rest of the budget’s program too.
  • Tax cuts for the wealthy by repealing Obamacare tax increases.
  • Cost sharing subsidies end in 2020, but could end earlier if the Trump Administration cuts them off.
  • States can still waive Obamacare regulations, such as essential benefits.
  • Planned Parenthood could face a one-year Medicaid funding freeze.

The Senate Republicans who largely shaped the health care bill looked to make the House-passed bill more palatable for its moderate and conservative members. The result was a bill that differs in some respects from the AHCA while being largely the same in its net effect.”

The report goes on to to explain that Senate leaders are looking to pass the bill next week through what’s known as the “budget reconciliation” process in order to get around the Senate’s usual 60-vote rule. The story also notes that there’s no word from the Prevaricator-in-chief yet on whether he considers the proposal “mean.”

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