Senate Republicans revealed their proposal Thursday for the repeal and overhaul of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, but the legislation is expected to face an uphill climb.
Coming weeks after the House passed a healthcare bill that Vice President Mike Pence declared “the beginning of the end of Obamacare,” the Senate’s version would create a system of federal tax credits to help individuals buy insurance, while allowing states to drop many benefits now required under the ACA, like maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment, according to The New York Times.
The Senate bill would eliminate both the individual and employer mandates. But it preserves access to care for patients with pre-existing conditions and allows children to stay on a parent’s health insurance plan through age 26.
On the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., acknowledged that the bill is likely to receive no support from Democrats. But he called on Republicans to “do what’s right for the American people.”
“They can choose to keep standing by as their failing law continues to collapse and hurt more Americans, but I hope they will join with us instead to bring relief to the families who have struggled under Obamacare for far too long,” McConnell said. “Either way, we have to act. Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class and American families deserve better than its failing status quo — they deserve better care.”
According to the New York Times, four conservative Republicans have announced they will oppose the bill as is, which would be enough to block passage. With Republicans holding 52 seats, a no vote from three or more would create a roadblock, assuming Democrats are unified in their opposition.
The Congressional Budget Office is expected to weigh in on the legislation soon, as McConnell hopes to see a vote in the Senate before the July 4 recess.
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