Major veterans' groups voice concern over Senate health bill

Evan Vucci  AP

Evan Vucci AP

Moderate Republican Susan Collins of ME said she would vote "no" on the motion to proceed with the bill. Rand Paul, don't believe the Senate bill goes far enough to repeal Obamacare, while others, like Maine Sen.

Republicans are still smarting from the brutal fight that led to the narrow passage of the House of Representatives' version of the health care bill in May, which is seemingly why McConnell and his allies have attempted to push their bill through as quickly and quietly as possible. The analysis also offers clarity to wavering Senate Republicans on whether to vote for the bill later this week.

That's the word Tuesday as the GOP faced five defections from its ranks just hours after the Congressional Budget Office said the bill would force 22 million off insurance rolls. Moderate Republicans, such as Collins and Heller, are concerned that the bill would cap Medicaid spending and reduce the number of insured Americans. "It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else".

The CBO report reinforced a recent pattern in budget office scores for Republican-backed health care plans aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. An earlier CBO analysis said that measure would cause 23 million more Americans to lose health coverage by 2026.

If the Senate passes a bill, it will either have to be approved by the House, which passed its own version last month, or the two chambers would have to reconcile their differences in a conference committee. However, he tweeted on Monday that the Senate needs to vote on the bill before health insurers announce premiums increases for next year.

Aides to the Koch network, a conservative group that plans to spend between $300 million and $400 million on the 2018 midterm elections, say they are "disappointed" in the Senate bill. Basically, if you let your insurance coverage lapse for a little over two months in any given year, the next year you would be shut out of the insurance market for six months.

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However, the Senate bill, if becoming law, would decrease federal deficits by a total of 321 billion USA dollars over a decade. Asked if Democrats would be involved in future discussions toward reworking the bill, McConnell said "they're not interested in participating".

This waiting period would likely help to keep healthy people in the market, but it could hurt people that get sick.

"This bill is every bit as mean as the House bill", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

The savings would result mainly from deep cuts to Medicaid, a government program for lower-income Americans seeking health care.

Either way, he is doing a tremendous disservice to the people he represents, and to the entire country - and especially to those 22 million Americans who will be pushed off their insurance if the Republican repeal plan becomes law. "As their United States Senator, I need to understand how this proposal may impact their lives as they age over decades, not just the next 10 years". All of us, including Republicans whose constituents depend on Medicaid to survive, must work together to see that this bill is defeated.