Washington Healthcare Update
Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2017 8:10 PM
Comparative of the Better Care Replacement Act (BCRA) to Obamacare (ACA) and American Healthcare Act (AHCA)
After a long wait and lots of drama in Washington these past few weeks, Senate Majority Leadership after working in secrecy, released its version of the new healthcare bill called the Better Care Replacement Act (BCRA). The BCRA has already hit a few road blocks as five Republican Senators have communicated their lack of support for the bill for various reasons. The Senate Majority leader is walking a fine line trying to balance the calls for further cuts by conservative Republicans and the demands of more moderate Republicans that believe that this new bill cuts too deep for their constituency.
Many healthcare advocacy groups around the country are also calling for this bill to be voted down. The Republican Senate leader is trying to push this through this week before the July 4th holiday without even a hearing. This bill is very controversial for many reasons and is yet to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Some of the reasons cited for the controversy are because of the deep cuts in Medicaid, the lack of hearings and education on the bill and the decrease in funding that shifts the burden of care to the states.
For a comprehensive comparison of Obamacare (ACA), the House bill (AHCA) and the Senate discussion (BCRA), please click here.
New Senate Healthcare Bill
In our last update we discussed that the Senate was meeting in secrecy to review the American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill that was passed by the House while Washington was distracted by the Comey and Russian investigations. The Senate kept their draft fairly close to the vest until today. As expected, the Senate produced a bill that still needs to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office according to the Byrd Act. Highlights of the bill are not surprising as they are presented to be a compromise between the far right and some moderate Senators. This is not a final version of the bill, but as expected, the Senate is proposing deep cuts to Medicaid after 2020 and to phase out Medicaid expansion from 2020-2024. It also proposes eliminating both the employer and individual the mandate and defunding Planned Parenthood for one year. Trump who has declared Obamacare dead seems to be hedging his bets that there is room for some negotiating. He has repeatedly insisted that the new health care bill make both economic and emotional sense and has called for the bill to have heart.
Click here for more information.