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Vilsack speaks out on GOP Senate health care plan

25 June 2017

We urge Louisiana's USA senators, Bill Cassidy, of Baton Rouge, and John N. Kennedy, of Madisonville, to work diligently to avoid unintended consequences in this new bill - particularly because of its development under secrecy by the Senate leadership.

Menendez said that the wealthiest Americans will get a tax cut under the Senate legislation, paid for by "taking health care away from those who need it most". The proposed bill will take Louisiana back to the days when an ear infection meant a mother loses her job because she waited hours in an emergency room with her sick child. "NOT GOOD! #HellerVotesYes", tweeted America First Policies, run by former President Trump and Vice President Pence campaign staffers.

Senate Republicans have released their supposed ObamaCare-repeal bill, the "Better Care Reconciliation Act".

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The focus on Medicaid could make amending the bill in a way that pleases enough Republicans hard.

Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., must get yes votes from 50 of the 52 GOP senators to avoid a defeat that would be a major embarrassment to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party. "Scott there says that Medicaid's not being cut from their perspective, but based on what we see right now in the bill there's just no way that's true", Zwillich says. The other four Republicans who said they would not back the current bill - Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin - did so because it did not go far enough to repeal Obamacare. Health care protesters are fanning out across their states to visit senators' offices, even holding 24-hour vigils to call attention to the most vulnerable Americans who would be most harmed by this bill.

The same poll shows a favorable/unfavorable ratio for a congressional "health care plan that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act".

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"Cassidy's public statements have raised the most concerns and objections about the bill that passed the House and he's been very clear in saying that he wants a bill that preserves coverage", Jan Moller, director of the Louisiana Budget Project, said Friday. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care or expensive prescriptions. It nearly didn't matter what was in the AHCA; its passage was created to allow the Senate to conjure up a more "refined" version.

He also says the privatization of Iowa's Medicaid services has hurt the state's health care system.

Though the Senate GOP's bill repeals the individual mandate, the legislation maintains numerous ACA tax credits that have helped people buy insurance.

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The Senate bill would phase out extra money Obama's law provides to 31 states that agreed to expand coverage under the federal-state Medicaid program.