Plans To Overhaul Health Care by Next Week Appear Shaky

The situation is fluid, as it has been since the GOP took over the Senate in January partly because of a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Top Senate GOP officials want to vote on that next week, but conservatives think the proposal being discussed doesn’t replace enough of the ACA while moderates worry about massive cuts to Medicaid in their states, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Meanwhile a number of senators, both Republican and Democrat, don’t appreciate being placed under pressure to pass a bill on such short notice.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson tells the WSJ: “I would find it hard to believe I will have enough time. I’ve made leadership well aware of the fact that I need information to make a final decision, and if I don’t have the information to justify a yes vote, I won’t be voting yes.”

The added urgency is caused, in part, by some health insurers saying that they will not participate in the ACA health care exchanges next year because they find them financially unfeasible. In addition, there remains doubt that the subsidies health insurers need to cover poorer and sicker people without either major financial loss, or major increases to premiums, or both.

“Under the Senate version, people without employer-provided insurance could qualify for subsidies that would be based on income, age and health costs in their area, people familiar with the discussions said,” the WSJ reports. “It could also lower the income eligibility for subsidies, meaning fewer people would likely be eligible than under the law now.”

But again, no final decision has been made on this issue. The Congressional Budget Office is expected to present an estimate of the bill’s cost and impact on coverage by Monday.  

Source: Wall Street Journal