GOP leader vows health care vote, but uncertainty reigns


Mitch McConnell's original Affordable Care Act repeal bill featured a large number of important changes to the individual health insurance market, but its centerpiece was really an enormous tax cut, overwhelmingly slanted to high-income households, paid for through draconian cuts to Medicaid. The bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, stands by the savage cuts to Medicaid in the House's repeal bill - cuts so damaging that they have already sparked on-the-record opposition from at least six Republican senators, three more than are necessary to kill the bill.

McCain, 80, announced Saturday night that he had the surgery at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix. A statement from his office had indicated that he would be out this week, but neurosurgeons not involved with McCain's surgery said the recovery period for such a procedure was often longer.

White House spokeswoman Helen Aguirre Ferre declined to say whether the president made calls to senators over the weekend on the health care bill.

Republicans hold 52 Senate seats, and all Democratic senators oppose the bill. And now with McCain staying home, the GOP leadership is less likely to gain 50 votes, a threshold to begin debate on the legislation.

"On the Senate side, I would estimate that there about eight to 10 Republican senators who have deep concerns", Ms. Collins said on ABC's "This Week".

Next, the Senate proposal makes important reforms to Medicaid, to better provide health care for America's most vulnerable people.

The revised version of the bill includes a "consumer freedom" amendment to the ACA that would allow consumers to purchase lower-premium catastrophic plans with stripped-down coverage; the current law requires all plans to provide certain minimum essential health benefits.

"We also firmly believe that the dedicated funding included in the bill to address the cost of plans that cover people with pre-existing medical conditions is insufficient and additional funding will not make the provision workable for consumers or taxpayers", the lobbying groups said in their letter. "It slashes Medicaid, which has become something that helps middle-class New Yorkers - millions of them, literally - and millions of Americans". People are covered for much of the care they get, insurance companies make a profit, and health care providers are reimbursed for their services. Rand Paul of Kentucky have said they plan to vote "no" on the procedural vote next week.

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Two Republicans, conservative Sen.

But while the outlook was described as devastating in the long term, two Bay Area health care policy experts advised Californians to take advantage of care and coverage options that will still be available in the short term.

Hoeven said of McConnell: "He's asking everybody to work with him, and a lot of us are saying 'yeah, ' and we've got more work to do". And indeed, those are the people have shied away from numerous Obamacare marketplaces, frustrated by premium hikes and willing to instead pay the relatively small fine for lacking coverage. But the money will be going to shore up private insurance, not the Medicaid program.

Asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether Mr. McConnell has the votes right now, Mr. Paul said, "I don't think he does".

Many lawmakers say they are waiting for the CBO's analysis of the updated bill early next week before they decide whether to support it.

Trump administration officials will use the extra time provided by the latest delay to try to persuade undecided Republican senators to vote for the bill.

And in a related scenario, people who are priced out the market because of a preexisting medical condition, who turn to a health plan with minimal coverage, can find themselves unexpectedly facing very high bills.