GOP May Hold Vote On New Health Care Bill

GOP May Hold Vote On New Health Care Bill Promo Image

Senate Republicans are reportedly planning to vote on a new bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act before the end of September.

The GOP can only use the option of budgetary reconciliation, a procedure requiring the support of 50 senators rather than the usual 60, until the end of September, Politico reported.

The bill has been prepared by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

Democrats are concerned about the timetable, pointing out that the Congressional Budget Office will not have time to complete a full analysis of the impact of the new proposed legislation.

"A comprehensive CBO analysis is essential before Republicans force a hasty, dangerous vote on what is an extreme and destructive repeal bill," House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York wrote in a letter to the CBO, according to Politico.

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Graham and Cassidy are proposing that states receive block grants to fund their health care systems. Both senators say they are close to securing enough votes to pass it.

Forbes noted that the Graham-Cassidy proposal would end a current provision prohibiting discrimination by insurers on the basis of pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies would also once again be allowed to impose lifetime limits on health care costs for individuals.

"Thus far, every version of Republicans' effort to repeal and replace the ACA has meant higher health costs, millions of hard-working Americans pushed off coverage, and key protections gutted with devastating consequences for those with pre-existing conditions," Pelosi and Schumer added, according to Politico.

Forbes also reported that insurers would no longer be obliged to provide "essential services," which include prescription drugs, pregnancy and newborn care, emergency services, services for mental health and services for substance abuse.

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The CBO stated it will be able to publish an initial assessment on the impact of the new bill before the end of September. But the information about the bill's impact on the number of uninsured Americans and premium rates will take several weeks to gather.

Reuters reported that President Donald Trump has been calling members of Congress individually to urge them to take action on repealing the ACA, which is also known as Obamacare.

Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, all of whom broke ranks with the Republicans to reject a repeal bill in July, are reportedly still unsure about the latest initiative. With a 52-48 majority, the GOP can only afford to lose two votes.

Sources: Politico, Forbes, Reuters / Featured Image: Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: slowking4/Wikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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