Senate Dems ask GOP to drop their plan to repeal 'Obamacare'

Presidente dos EUA Donald Trump vira para o presidente da Câmara Paul Ryan em Washington. 04/05/2017 REUTERS  Carlos Barria

I am shocked and dismayed that Rep. Andy Harris supported the American Health Care Act ("Rodricks: Even with vote to repeal Obamacare, Andy Harris' seat appears safe", May 6). Medicaid expansion has been a lifeline for constituents who suffer from mental illness or addiction and have been able to access treatment through the expansion.

But Republican women have struggled to gain as much influence in the Senate as their Democratic counterparts. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia, was invited to speak on the Medicaid program in her state during a health care meeting Tuesday afternoon. Sen. "There are no cuts to the Medicaid program", Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said - a bald-faced lie, given that Republicans want to cut $880 billion from Medicaid to offset a big tax cut for the rich. After that year, individuals on the program weren't kicked off, but once they cycled off the program, they weren't allowed to re-enroll. Politico embraced the warped narrative about the bill's campaign consequences, publishing a story Saturday with the headline "Obamacare repeal vote upends 2018 House landscape".

Expect in the Senate that numerous lawmakers whose constituents have benefited from the Medicaid expansion will fight to keep the program intact longer. In their foolish haste to get rid of "Obamacare", Republican ideologues are paving the way for something they will like much less.

Throughout the health care debate in the House, Republican senators didn't shy away from criticizing the negotiations happening across the Capitol. "I remain steadfastly committed to replacing it with a plan that truly works for the people I represent".

Where could the Senate improve on Obamacare? Senators also are waiting for the House bill to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office before they can even really dive in. John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota told reporters earlier this week of the White House.

The core group of 13 Republican senators tasked with crafting health care legislation to repeal Obamacare is under fire for not including any women senators, NBC News reports.

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Donald Trump was in a jubilant mood last week after House Republicans passed a bill to overhaul the nation's healthcare system. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME have already said they'd prefer to keep funding the women's health care provider.

It seems to me they will have replaced "Obama Care" with the Trump-Ryan "We Don't Care". As recently as Thursday, at a news conference with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull only hours after the Rose Garden festivities, he praised Australia's single-payer health system - prompting White House spokesmen, yet again, to caution against taking the president's words literally.

The ACA prevents insurers from charging higher rates for people with so-called pre-existing conditions, a common practice before its implementation. This would only apply to those who are not continuously insured. But, the author adds, experts "almost all agreed that expanded health coverage played a major role in the marked, recent decline". Twenty Republicans joined them.

Somehow I doubt that the fearless, anonymous creature who trashed me for calling it that ever had any qualms about calling the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act "Obamacare".

"We're going to start with the House bill", he said. This is required of any state that wants to waive the "essential health benefits" or "community rating" rules.

The authors defined a qualified burden as when a family spends more than 10 percent of its annual income on health insurance and medical costs. Also, it could make it harder for those dealing with substance abuse or mental health issues to get help.

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