Local leaders weigh in on Senate healthcare bill

Kaiser Family Foundation

The working poor: The Senate plan fills in the gap left by Obamacare, extending tack credits for people earning less than federal poverty level ($11,700 this year) who have been shut out of the exchange market.

Significantly, President Donald Trump's assessment of the House Republican version of the bill agreed with criticisms by Democratic Party opponents, including Clinton and Obama.

Now, facing an enormous challenge in the Senate on health care, Trump and his team are opting for a hands-off approach on legislation to dismantle the "Obamacare" law, instead putting their faith in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver a legacy-defining victory. And so McConnell and his allies have written the Senate bill in a way that's created to obscure some of its harshest effects and give skittish members plausible-sounding reasons to vote yes.

Trump said it was hard to weigh competing forces while drafting the bill, but that the bill revealed by the Senate this week was a good start.

"I think they have, at best, a 50-50 chance of passing this bill", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY said on ABC. The Senate's newly-released bill is similar to the previously-passed House legislation in adopting an approach that will surely increase the numbers of uninsured and do little to stem the rising costs of health care. Trump said on Saturday on his personal Twitter account.

Healthcare stocks closed down 0.1 % on Friday, clawing back some losses after the sector dropped sharply late in the session on Heller's announcement.

Schumer said Senate passage of the bill to replace former president Barack Obama's health law is too close to call. From 2015 to 2017, he ran the Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare, as head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"What's driving this is a tax cut that Republicans insisted on of about $700 billion for the wealthiest people in America and the pharmaceutical companies", Durbin told "Fox News Sunday".

During an interview on "Fox & Friends" taped Thursday at the White House and aired Friday, Trump appeared eager to avoid offending any of the holdouts.

"It's not that they're opposed", he said. So basically people would get help, but they would still have to pay even more of their medical bills. "And we'll see if we can take care of that". "I think they'll get some points".

MARTIN: What parts and programs of the Affordable Care Act are most at stake with this new version of the Senate Republicans' bill? That's because unanimous opposition is expected from Democrats in a chamber in which Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 majority. The House bill also had a phase-in of sorts, because it had what amounted to a grandfather clause: It preserved the extra funding for people who had enrolled in the expansion for as long as they stayed on Medicaid. It pays almost the whole bill for the more than 700,000 primarily childless low-income working adults who joined Medicaid after January 1, 2015, when Pennsylvania expanded income eligibility guidelines to take advantage of the more generous federal contribution rate under Obama's law.

Ahead of the vote, Trump and lawmakers are waiting for an independent assessment from the Congressional Budget Office, possibly as early as Monday, on how many people would lose insurance if the Republican plan is enacted and projections on the cost of insurance in the next few years.

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