What's next on health care draft in Congress

The long-awaited plan marks a big step towards achieving one of the Republican party's major goals.

The Senate bill proposes defunding Planned Parenthood for a year, but abortion-related restrictions are less stringent than the House version.

But the Senate bill also attempts to soften other much-derided aspects of the House's health-care plan, in an effort to attract moderate votes.

"We agreed on the need to free Americans from Obamacare's mandates". "The way this bill cuts health care is heartless".

The plan gets rid of those mandates. The Senate bill would provide subsidies only for people who make up to 350% of the poverty level, or about an annual income of $42,210. Like the House, the Senate wants to leave up to the states whether policies must cover such services as emergency, maternity and mental health care. Though he lauded its passage in a Rose Garden ceremony, Trump last week privately called the House measure "mean" and called on senators to make their version more "generous".

-Delay a new "Cadillac" tax on high-cost health insurance plans until 2026. States would also have to retain Obama's requirement that family insurance cover children up to age 26. They say the GOP plan would mean fewer people with coverage and higher costs for many. Under the Senate GOP plan, all this coverage is at risk.

The Affordable Care Act is perhaps the most significant domestic legislative achievement of Obama's Presidency. They're two women who have in the past been reluctant to support another one of these bill's goals, which is to block funds for Planned Parenthood.

- The Senate bill differs from the House health care measure, so the legislation would have to be reconciled in a House-Senate conference committee. Instead, slashing Medicaid spending creates fiscal headroom for what is euphemistically being called "tax reform" - a soon-to-come package of huge tax cuts favoring the wealthy.

Senate Republicans released only a draft of their bill, with no analysis and no cost estimates. Subsidies to insurance companies that reduce out-of-pocket costs for low-income beneficiaries who purchase coverage on through the government-sponsored insurance exchanges would also be eliminated by 2020.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said the new bill was "heartless", warning it would eventually cut Medicaid even more steeply than the House legislation, which slashes it by $800 billion over a decade.

Kansas' other Republican senator, Jerry Moran, was less enthusiastic and said he hadn't decided how he would vote. We don't yet know if Republican leaders in the Senate can muster enough votes from their members to overcome the solid voting opposition that is guaranteed to come from Senate Democrats.

In spite of tweet, lawyer says Trump not under investigation
President Donald Trump leads a rally marking his first 100 days in office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. "This whole thing stinks". Jay Sekulow , told " Meet the Press " moderator Chuck Todd "The president is not under investigation by the special counsel".

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Lisa Desjardins begins our coverage.

ALISON KODJAK, BYLINE: The Senate proposal is broadly similar to the bill passed by House Republicans last month.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and other Republicans have pitched the bill as a fix for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Similarly they pan the proposed repeal of Medicaid expansion, as the program is a "critical source of coverage for people with chronic diseases". Avik Roy is a physician and founder of the conservative Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

The new legislation would eliminate numerous taxes enacted under the ACA to fund the expansion of health insurance coverage.

Senate bill: States allowed to change what qualifies as an essential health benefit.

House bill: State could allow insurers to raise premiums based on pre-existing conditions if they had a gap in coverage.

Health-care advocacy groups on Thursday decried the cuts to Medicaid. It would change the process by which states receive federal money for Medicaid recipients, cutting the amount of aid those patients receive and impacting the type and quality of care millions of Americans would have to deal with.

That could include the number of years the bill would take to phase out the extra money Obama provided to expand the federal-state Medicaid program for the poor and disabled to millions of additional low earners.

Farley David believes legislators understand the logic of treatment and prevention - but in her view, they're thinking about healthcare in the wrong way.


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