The draft Senate bill to replace Obamacare was released earlier today and the reviews are mixed at best. The main issue with this bill and the House bill is that neither take real steps to deal with increasing costs for medical care. That is the underlying problem which results in higher insurance premiums and deductibles. So far the Republican replacement plans are more like treating symptoms associated with cancer rather than fighting the cancer itself. Until we find a way to reduce the cost of care, reducing the cost of coverage for that care simply isn't possible.
The winners of the draft Senate bill are similar to the winners of the House bill: young, healthy and more financially stable Americans. The losers of the draft Senate bill are older, sicker and poorer Americans. This isn't some kind of partisan spin, it's the reality of the proposal. It's also a mistake to call this bill a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare. It's a partial repeal at best, which is why four of the more conservative Republicans in the Senate have already said they likely won't support the bill without some changes.
The next step in the process will be the release of a CBO score next week and then a potential vote on the bill before the July 4th recess. In trying to garner enough support to pass the bill, the Senate will face issues similar to what we saw from the House. If leadership tries to win over more conservative members with concessions, they'll risk losing the support of their more moderate members. The difference this time is that the margin for error is much smaller. If the bill does pass in the Senate, it has to go back to the House before President Trump would have a chance to sign it into law. The bottom line: we're still quite a ways away from repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Below is a link to the draft bill along with some good articles that help explain different aspects of the legislation.
The draft Senate bill: https://www.budget.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/SENATEHEALTHCARE.pdf
Axios article with highlights: https://www.axios.com/the-senate-bill-is-out-heres-your-speed-read-2446201141.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=organic&utm_content=breaking&utm_term=healthcare
Analysis by the president of the Kaiser Family Foundation: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/opinion/senate-health-care-bill.html
Vox explainer: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/22/15846728/senate-plan-better-care-reconciliation-act
Wonkblog on changes to insurance subsidies: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/22/how-the-gop-health-care-bill-would-address-one-of-obamacares-big-problems-but-could-cause-an-even-bigger-one-of-its-own/?utm_term=.23015f99cec5
The Upshot breakdown of Senate draft bill: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/upshot/shifting-dollars-from-poor-to-rich-is-a-key-part-of-the-senate-health-bill.html?_r=0
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