Thursday, June 22, 2017

Senate Health Plan Relies on Subsidies Republicans Have Faulted

Senate Republicans’  proposal to replace Obamacare would provide an additional $50 billion over four years to stabilize insurance exchanges, relying on a mechanism Republicans have criticized in the past as a way to keep insurers in the marketplace.
The plan, released Thursday after months of closed-door meetings, includes $15 billion a year in market-stabilizing funds over the next two years and $10 billion a year in 2020 and 2021. These payments would come in addition to cost-sharing subsidy payments, which would be extended through 2019.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants the full Senate to vote on the measure next week, but it’s not clear if the GOP will have the votes to pass it.
It also would provide $62 billion allocated over eight years to a state innovation fund, which can be used for coverage for high-risk patients, reinsurance and other items. The draft bill would phase out Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid over three years, starting in 2021.
The 142-page bill, H.R. 1628, will be subject to significant revisions -- McConnell earlier in the week called it a "discussion draft" -- giving moderates and conservatives the potential to claim wins later as it heads to the floor if they are able to secure changes.

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