Senate health care: ‘We’re in the twilight zone of legislating’

July 28 04:24 2017

As Graham put it, skinny repeal is “the worst possible outcome” because it “would destroy the insurance markets”.

Though the Senate has yet to release details, the “skinny repeal” plan would likely eliminate the individual mandate, which requires almost all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, and the employer mandate, which obligates larger companies to provide affordable coverage to their full-time workers.

The rejected proposal included language by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell erasing the Obama law’s tax penalties on people not buying insurance and cutting Medicaid. “If moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do”, Ryan said in a statement Thursday night.

If the skinny bill does pass, it would likely go to House and Senate negotiators to hash out a final agreement that both chambers would have to vote on.

Either way, after weeks spent on the issue including false starts and near-death experiences that have eaten up months of Trump’s presidency, the realization was dawning on senators that they may be unable to pass anything more complex for now than a lowest-common-denominator bill.

A slew of Republican senators openly acknowledged on Thursday that the “skinny repeal” bill wasn’t flawless, while some went as far as to blast it as bad policy.

Meanwhile, the House has advised lawmakers not to make any plans to leave Washington until it’s clear what the Senate will do.

Some GOP senators, including Arizona’s John McCain, had demanded guarantees that the House would not simply approve the minimalist bill and send it to President Donald Trump. Remember, so many people who are in the Senate on the Republican side ran for re-election and said, you know, if I get the chance, I will vote to repeal it, and yesterday they got their chance.

McConnell also said the Senate would take up Texas Sen.

U.S. Senate Republicans embarked on Thursday on another push to unravel Obamacare, working on a stripped-down bill after failing to pass broader legislation and complete a seven-year campaign to gut a law that extended health coverage to millions.

However, by allowing the Senate to enter a conference with the House, it could lead to a bill that does. “Paul sees the skinny bill as a vehicle to find a better solution”.

The measure would have repealed the unpopular Affordable Care Act requiring most people to have health insurance or risk a fine from the IRS. So the leadership’s plan, after the failure of repeal-and-replace and repeal-and-delay, is to bring a slimmed down or “skinny” repeal bill to the floor.

Republicans say no decisions have been finalized.

But it would keep the regulations on what insurers have to cover and the requirement that they not turn down sick people seeking coverage or base premiums on their health status.

But don’t worry, here’s a guide to help track the Senate path of this crucial legislation.

The easiest way for McConnell to punt it to the next step in the process is to pass something with a simple majority of 51 votes, but the only legislation allowed to pass the Senate with 51 votes is legislation related to the budget – it’s called reconciliation.

Quizzed by journalists on why they would vote for the bill at all – rather than reject it outright – the senators said they were seeking a conference committee to improve it.

Their hope is to get something to the House and get it off the Senate’s plate. Some Senators are expecting Thursday’s session to extend deep into Friday morning.

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Senate health care: ‘We’re in the twilight zone of legislating’
 
 
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