Senate GOP would halt Obamacare penalties, taxes

Democrats say Medicaid cuts in the Republican plan will be devastating and that Obamacare's struggling exchanges can be salvaged with more federal spending to beef up subsidies and backstop insurers' losses.

The Senate bill is expected to follow the template laid out in the House version, which narrowly passed last month, but with key differences.

That's according to lobbyists and congressional aides who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., intends to present the draft to wary GOP senators at a meeting on Thursday morning.

In addition, a growing number of Republicans are frustrated with the process, saying they apparently will have just a few days to study the draft before being forced to vote on a major piece of legislation.

USA senators expressed concern on Wednesday about a plan to overhaul the US healthcare system, fearing a rush to consider the major legislation as Republican leaders prepare to unveil it. "I'm open to keeping some of Obamacare".

A spokesman for Speaker Paul Ryan said the Wisconsin Republican had yet to sign off on the plan.

Grassley, on a conference call with Iowa reporters, said Wednesday he had not seen the bill.

Obama Responds To Otto Warmbier's Death
Washington and Beijing have a lot of catching up to do. At least I know China tried", Trump wrote. The tweet puzzled even Trump's own aides.

"It's my job to find 50 votes, and we're going to have 50 votes", No. 2 Senate Republican leader John Cornyn of Texas said Tuesday. They say they will slow work on bills by refusing to let the Senate bypass time-consuming procedural steps, which it customarily does on most legislation. The Senate measure would also seek to phase out the program's expansion - although at a more gradual rate than the House version. In sum, while it seemed for a time the Senate might gesture to the center, at least a bit, its bill is about as draconian as the House version.

Also like the House bill, the Senate measure would block federal payments to Planned Parenthood, one source said.

"It's apparently being written by a small handful of staffers for members of the Republican leadership", said conservative Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. That might satisfy Republican senators from states that expanded their programs, but conservatives have wanted to halt the extra expenditures quickly. Some Republicans worry that such a move would force states to cut services or coverage, potentially leaving millions of low-income people without sufficient health care.

Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican from ME, said she wants to read an assessment by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on its impact on cost and insurance coverage before making her decision.

Grassley, who chaired the Senate Finance Committee at the time, acknowledged Wednesday that he took part in talks with Democrats over the Affordable Care Act. "It might have to be considered separately".

Mr McConnell has made clear that he wants to have a vote on the legislation before senators leave Washington DC for the Fourth of July. But the bill they're voting on does pretty much the same thing. Starting in 2020, that threshold would be lowered to 350 percent under the Senate bill - but anyone below that line could get the subsidies if they're not eligible for Medicaid.

That provision, said Larry Levitt, senior vice president for special initiatives at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, would be "a real benefit to poor people in states that don't expand Medicaid". White House officials were granted a formal briefing, which risked irking many senators who had yet to see the actual bill. Senators had previously toyed with the idea of keeping some of the ACA's taxes.

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