Published: Sun, June 11, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

McCaskill blasts Senate Republicans' health care process with facts

McCaskill blasts Senate Republicans' health care process with facts

"The discussion focused on the continued progress of our shared legislative agenda and how we can accomplish our goals".

"Many in Washington and the media look at the huge health crises that we have facing Tennessee and the country today and they say, 'We can't afford to change our nation's health care policies at a time like this, '" said Price, a former Georgia congressman and physician, at the event sponsored by Healthy Tennessee and the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. "What do we need changed from it, so we still got a ways to go".

The Utah Republican, apparently unsure how to respond, had an aide whisper a talking point in his ear.

One Republican considered a pivotal vote in the Senate debate, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, said he found the ideas put forward by leadership Tuesday to be "very cognizant of pre-existing conditions", and that he was reassured that Republicans might produce a broad bill he could support. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, had made the high cost of many prescription drugs a major issue of her campaign.

While the GOP is working behind the scenes to find the votes necessary to advance their own bill to overhaul the USA health care system, achieving consensus on several complex policy matters has proved very hard.

"'Cause this is not like fine wine, it doesn't get better with age", he added with a laugh.

"We led off with health care, which I thought was a mistake", Graham said.

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Many Senate Republicans fear that the House proposal for replacing Obamacare refundable tax credits targeted exclusively to low-income Americans with less generous tax subsidies available to nearly anyone based on age will force millions of people out of the market.

Buffeted by criticism on many fronts, Trump wants faster action from his fellow Republicans who control Congress, pressing lawmakers to finish the job of dismantling the Obamacare health care law and move on quickly to another of his priorities: tax cuts.

Democrats said the entire GOP effort is doomed to fail on its merits.

"The big print giveth". House GOP leaders say they want to give the state a cushion against their expectations the state's income forecast is too optimistic.

"I'm not going to go into details".

"If the Republicans will set aside this partisan, gun-at-your-head kind of approach, we stand ready, if they're willing to do that, to work cooperatively with them", Oregon Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) hopes for a slower rollback of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. "Whether we'll be able to get consensus on the whole, we'll see", said Sen.

Lawmakers remain split over what to do about Medicaid. In addition, the current plan is to have the bill deal exclusively with budgetary matters so it can pass the Senate with a simple majority and avoid a filibuster, which limits the scope of what it can address.

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There is also strong moderate sentiment against the House proposal for slashing Medicaid spending to pay for tax cuts. Republicans must pass a bill by the end of the fiscal year in order to use the budget reconciliation process and also avoid a filibuster attempt by Democrats.

The House plan would calculate funding for Medicaid year to year based off what is known as the Consumer Price Index based off the cost of medical care, a measurement that is more generous over time than the standard Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

Other options that are on the table include how to structure tax credits.

In their effort to revamp the nation's health-care system, Senate Republicans are considering preserving or more gradually eliminating key elements of the Affordable Care Act that the House voted to discard, creating an uncomfortable political situation for the party after years of promises to fully repeal the law.

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, defended the process, saying it fostered comity among Republicans. James E. Risch, Idaho Republican, told reporters.

If the parliamentarian rules against them, the GOP will revert to their back up plan, which involves working within the current Obamacare subsidy structure, exactly how they would make Obamacare subsidies less costly remains unclear.

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