The Senate will take up health care reform after a revised version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed through the House last Thursday.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), a member of Senate leadership, said that the Senate will wait for a new CBO score before preceding to a vote.
.. Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, said, “The bill that passed out of the House is most likely not going to be the bill that is put in front of the president.”
Members of the working group include Sens.
- Mitch McConnell,
- Bob Portman (R-OH),
- John Corynyn (R-TX),
- John Thune (R-SD),
- Mike Enzi (R-WY),
- Orrin Hatch (R-UT),
- Lamar Alexander (R-TN),
- Tom Cotton (R-AR),
- Cory Gardner (R-CO),
- Ted Cruz (R-TX),
- John Barrasso (R-WY), and
- Pat Toomey (R-PA).
.. The Senate working group does not feature two of the bill’s biggest critics, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
.. The two senators joined a separate group of Republicans studying potential health care solutions including Sens.
- Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV),
- Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and
- Mike Rounds (R-SD)
- Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
.. Senators Cassidy and Collins released a separate Obamacare repeal bill, The Patient Freedom Act.
States have three options under the Cassidy-Collins plan:
- Retain the Affordable Care Act, allowing individuals and small businesses able to purchase insurance on state exchanges and low-income residents can receive federal subsidies to cover the cost of the program. States that expanded Medicaid can continue to provide increased Medicaid coverage.
- States can receive most of the federal funding, including Medicaid expansion and subsidies to create tax-free Health Savings Accounts for low-income citizens. Low-income residents can use the HSAs to purchase insurance and pay for health care.
- Allow states to create an alternative solution without federal assistance. States would retain the power to design and regulate insurance markets without federal intervention.
.. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) were the strongest opponents of the American Health Care Act. Senator Paul crafted his own conservative plan for repealing Obamacare and worked with the Freedom Caucus to push for an even more conservative Obamacare repeal bill. The Freedom Caucus endorsed Sen. Paul’s plan.