Different Takes: Explanations About Contents Of The GOP’s ‘Secret’ Health Plan

Thursday, June 22, 2017 Written by 
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(Kaiser Health News) –Editorial pages are filled with tough warnings for Republican lawmakers as they proceed with their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.


The New York Times: The Health Care Of Millions Depends On A Few Senators 

We do not know a lot about what is in the health care bill that Republicans are trying to rush through the Senate, but what we do know suggests it will be as bad or worse than the dreadful legislation that the House passed in May. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is doing everything he can to keep the public in the dark about his plan to undo major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. But Washington being Washington, a few details have become public. All are alarming and depressing. And as they emerge, and the public unveiling of the bill grows closer — it could come on Thursday — the need for a few wise Republicans to stand with Senate Democrats to say “no” becomes ever more urgent. (6/21)


Bloomberg: The Republican Health-Care Trap 

Are congressional Republicans about to walk into a trap of their own making? With a vote coming (perhaps) next week, the strategy they've followed all year is about to drop them unceremoniously on a path to being stuck with an unpopular law few of them appear to even want in the first place. (Jonathan Bernstein, 6/20)


The New York Times: G.O.P. Health Plan Is Really A Rollback Of Medicaid 

Tucked inside the Republican bill to replace Obamacare is a plan to impose a radical diet on a 52-year-old program that insures nearly one in five Americans. The bill, of course, would modify changes to the health system brought by the Affordable Care Act. But it would also permanently restructure Medicaid, which covers tens of millions of poor or disabled Americans, including millions who are living in nursing homes with conditions like Alzheimer’s or the aftereffects of a stroke. (Margot Sanger-Katz, 6/20)


Los Angeles Times: GOP's Secret Trumpcare Bill Will Impact A Sixth Of The U.S. Economy. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? 

Seenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is pushing for a vote next week on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare despite having held no public hearings, obtained no feedback from budget analysts and taken no testimony from doctors, patients or hospitals. That’s a recipe for disaster. (6/21)


RealClear Health: Senate Dems: GOP Health Bill Secretive, In Contrast To Obamacare 

The secretive way in which Republicans are drafting the current health care bill bears no resemblance to how Democrats put together Obamacare seven years ago, Senate Democrats argue. With only a few weeks remaining before the make-or-break August recess deadline, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have bemoaned the back-room crafting of Senate Republicans’ American Health Care Act, a draft of which could come as early as Thursday. (Ford Carson, 6/21)


USA Today: Women Aren't The Most Glaring Omission In GOP Health Bill Talks 

There has been much attention to the gender composition of the working group creating the Senate plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. All 13 of them are men. That's even though women make up slightly more than 50% of the population, and they might have had a thing or two to say on such things as whether maternity care and gynecological services should be covered. Surely, the Republican leaders could have picked at least one of the five female Republican senators. But don't overlook an even more jarring omission: Democrats. (Dan Carney, 6/21)


The Washington Post: John Kasich And John Hickenlooper: Another One-Party Health-Care Plan Will Be Doomed To Failure 

The fate of America’s health-care system, the focus of our nation’s most important — and most heavily politicized — public-policy debate, is in the hands of the Senate, where senators get their turn to find a balanced and sustainable approach to health-care reform. It is clear that the bill passed by the House in May will not meet the challenges of our health-care system. This bill calls into question coverage for the vulnerable, fails to provide the necessary resources to ensure that no one is left out and puts the health and well-being of millions of hard-working people in our states at risk, while shifting significant costs to the states. Medicaid provisions included in this bill are particularly problematic. (Govs. John Kasich and John Hickenlooper, 6/20)


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: On Health Care, Republicans Have Some Explaining To Do 

The problem with writing the bill in secret is that it allows Democrats to vilify it in public without knowing what's in it. In the past, voters were skeptical of government involvement in private-market health care, but Obamacare has changed that; Democrats can now argue Republicans are taking something away. (Christian Schneider, 6/20)


The Kansas City Star: What’s In The Senate’s Secret Health Care Bill? 

This week, Republicans in the U.S. Senate have worked in darkness, crafting a bill designed to remake the nation’s health care industry. There have been no hearings. No publicly available copies of the bill. No Democratic involvement. Not a single attempt to include the public in the legislative process. A vote is set for next week. (6/20)


USA Today: Face Facts, GOP: Obamacare Is A Lifeline That's Doing Enormous Good 

My colleagues and I have been studying the effects of Medicaid and Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act, for several years. Two of our studies have been published in the past few weeks, just in time to offer some hard evidence that Congress should consider as it races toward votes that would make dramatic changes in health care. (Benjamin Sommers, 6/20)


Axios: Republicans See Medicaid As Welfare. Most Americans Don't 

Republicans want to roll back the Medicaid expansion, cap federal Medicaid spending increases, and add work requirements, drug testing, time limits, copays and premiums to some state Medicaid programs. But almost no one else wants to do these things. One poll finding goes a long way toward explaining why: Republicans view Medicaid as a form of welfare, and pretty much everyone else views it as a government insurance program. (Drew Altman, 6/21)


CNN: Medicaid Works -- Let's Keep It That Way 

Medicaid works. It provides life-sustaining health coverage to low-income Americans and life-enabling support to both children and adults with disabilities, giving them the tools they need to live independently within communities, to go to school and to seek work in their chosen fields. Few programs in history have done more good. Few dollars are spent with greater benefit. There are many ways in which we could strengthen the safety net that Medicaid provides, but right now, it basically works. If the current version of the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act secretly slouching its way through the Senate mirrors the House bill, it will cut Medicaid by well over $800 billion. (David Perry, 6/20)




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