Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a new health coverage overhaul bill today, but the Washington Post reports that doubts remain whether he has sufficient Republican votes to pass it. The situation is complicated by a competing bill from two Republican senators.
Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, who was opposed to the earlier legislation, is apparently showing signs of weakening though reports indicate the latest bill does little to alleviate concerns about damage to the states that expanded Medicaid coverage, such as Arkansas.
If Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman have emerged to reveal any intentions on health legislation after weeks of silence, I have yet to see them. Cotton’s latest tweets are on rural banks and Iran. Boozman hasn’t said that much.
UPDATE: Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicare and Medicaid for President Obama, has some quick and unsettling takes:
1. The Senate Trumpcare bill amendment was just released & it went from very bad to unworkably bad. First analysis.
2. The baseline is 22 million people losing coverage, costs ⬆️ 74%, 35% Medicaid cut, erosion of pre-existing condition., massive tax cut 4 affluent. Nothing fixed.
3.Nothing, nothing at all, was done to reduce Medicaid cuts or improve subsidies 4 older/low income. Big miss.
4. Medicaid cuts remain same size. Medicaid expansion still ends. Subsidies CBO said make insurance unaffordable for low income not changed.
This is very bad news for Arkansas and its Medicaid expansion, even with the draconian cuts planned by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Maybe the bill will have an “Arkansas Appetizer.” Reports are circulating of a special provision for Alaska, dubbed the “Polar Payout,” to win the vote of Sen. Lisa Murkowski.