Senate Republicans unveil new health care bill - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Senate Republicans unveil new health care bill

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WASHINGTON D.C. (KUSI) — Senate Republicans unveiled their newest health care bill Thursday.

With this plan, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hopes the GOP can fulfill a campaign promise seven years in the making: Repeal and replace Obamacare.

But there's still a long way to go.

The new Senate GOP health care bill contains significant new funding for opioid treatment and gives monthly to states to help lower premiums for high-cost enrollees.

But the plan keeps two Obamacare-era taxes on the wealthy and maintains significant cuts to Medicaid, meaning by 2026, 15 million fewer people would be insured under Medicaid.

The revision also includes an amendment from Senator Ted Cruz, allowing insurers to offer cheaper, bare-bones policies.

The measure is meant to court conservatives, but it may scare away moderates concerned it could cause premiums to spike for those with pre-existing conditions.

McConnell spoke Thursday, explaining the bill and urging Democrats to come to the table.

"As before, it aims to stabilize and reform the collapsing insurance markets that have left too many with no options, and it aims to make insurance more affordable and more flexible so it's something Americans actually want to buy," McConnell said. "I remain disappointed that our Democratic friends made clear early on that they did not want to engage in a serious, bipartisan effort to solve this issue. But they have a renewed opportunity to engage now. I hope they will take it. I hope every senator will vote to open debate. Because that's how you change the status quo."

House Speaker Paul Ryan promises if the Senate can pass the measure, the House will continue to work. 

"... if the Senate is going to give us a health care bill, we are going to stay and finish the health care bill," House Speaker Ryan said.

To pass the bill, the GOP needs 50 votes. So McConnell can only afford to lose two Senators. Already, Senators Rand Paul and Susan Collins say they doubt they will support the bill. 

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