Vote Expected this Week on Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act Was Being Written Behind Closed Doors
On June 22, 2017, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that Senate Republicans released the Better Care Reconciliation Act, their long-awaited health care overhaul proposal.
The “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” would repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The broad outlines of the Senate bill show similarities to the House bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was passed in May. For more on the House vote read our post on Tom MacArthur’s Amendment to the AHCA.
As expected, the Senate bill rolls back the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, eliminates many ACA taxes and repeals the penalties associated with the individual and employer mandates.
Last month the House voted with very slim margins, passed the American Health Care Act. This bill would strip health care from 23 million people. The bill was then sent to the Senate to pass a similar version.
The original thought was that the Senate bill would have to be a lot less conservative in order to ensure that it could pass the Senate.
Several Senators face elections in vulnerable seats in the 2018 midterm elections.
The House bill changes a lot of the systematic changes to the Medicaid system. The House version of the ACHA sets per person limits on spending. This is done to save the federal government a good chunk of money in the long run. A June 19, 2017 Slate article says that this change will cut the budget by $64 billion over the next ten years.
The Senate bill was written by 13 males in a private room. This process is possibly the least transparent in modern American bill writing history.
If this bill is passed as is by both chambers of the legislature and then signed into law by the President, it would lead to a very similar situation many Americans faced before the Affordable Care Act became law. It could cause many of the nation’s sickest people to face situations with “life time limits”.
Savings in the short run will cause people to die of ailments that could be treated with medical attention. Most of the cuts that are being proposed will cut the legs out from under the people who need help the most.