Economy

Toomey upbeat about Senate health care bill amid protests

Toomey upbeat about Senate health care bill amid protests

After being widely panned by Democrats and Republicans alike for crafting the bill with unprecedented secrecy keeping details even from GOP senators - McConnell may now be eager to convey a sense of open debate and negotiation.

"You couldn't design a bill less responsive to what the opponents of Obamacare have said they want than the bill that recently passed the House of Representatives", Bennet said.

Later Thursday, President Obama posted on Facebook: "The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill". Thursday, he tweeted his support for the Senate bill.

On Twitter, Trump said he was "very supportive" of the bill.

Just hours after McConnell released the 142-page legislation on Thursday, four conservatives said they opposed it.

Democrats are united in opposition to the proposal, which was worked out in secret by a group led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The bill's release was met with significant opposition from Democrats and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act.

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With no Democratic support, Senate Republicans can only afford two votes against the bill - and there are already more than that. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

"My goal is to create a more workable system that lowers the cost of coverage, provides access to quality care and protects the most vulnerable in our society", Portman said in a statement.

The S&P 500 healthcare index .SPXHC dipped 0.3 percent at midday on Friday but was on track for a 3.4 percent gain for the week, its best week since November.

Also aiding McConnell is the fact that Republicans have campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare for more than seven years. It pays almost the whole bill for the more than 700,000 primarily childless low-income working adults who joined Medicaid after January 1, 2015, when Pennsylvania expanded income eligibility guidelines to take advantage of the more generous federal contribution rate under Obama's law.

"If the concerns that I have and the others have are addressed, I think it will pass", even if it takes longer than the Republican leaders' self-imposed deadline of July 4, he told Fox News.

The group said in a statement Friday it's encouraged that the Senate bill would take immediate action to stabilize shaky insurance markets by guaranteeing billions of dollars in subsidies under jeopardy due to a legal dispute and political maneuvering.

The Senate bill does keep more of Obamacare's protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

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The House bill would begin phasing out Medicaid expansion by 2020, while the Senate version would delay it until 2023, but Wendy Patton, a senior policy director at Policy Matters Ohio, said that just delays rather than changes the outcome. Though Trump lauded its passage in a Rose Garden ceremony, he called the House measure "mean" last week.

The bill would let states get waivers to ignore some coverage requirements under Obama's law, such as specific health services insurers must now cover.

On both the moderate and conservative sides of the party, some of the lawmakers that may be the toughest for McConnell to get to a yes are the same ones who may have to rely on his generosity for their re-elections.

A Congressional Budget Office examination of the House bill estimated that it would cost as many as 23 million Americans their health insurance in the coming years. "It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else". Fewer than one in three Americans supports it, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.

"I can not support a bill that is going to result in tens of millions of people losing their health insurance, and I can not support a bill that's going to make such deep cuts in Medicaid that it's going to shift billions of dollars of costs to our state governments. and to healthcare providers, such as rural hospitals, which would be faced with a great deal of uncompensated care".

"I can not support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Nevadans", Heller said.

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