Protect health care for children

"The Republicans that wrote this bill don't want you to understand the damage it will cause before they vote on it", said Wolf, a Democrat.

Although many in the audience are opposed to the House and Senate replacement bills, they gave Price a standing ovation after his remarks.

The speech by Dr. Tom Price, the USA secretary of Health and Human Services, came two days after a select group of Republicans in the Senate released a bill that would eliminate the Affordable Care Act's requirement for most people to buy health insurance or pay a fine, significantly roll back the expansion of Medicaid coverage for the poor (called Medi-Cal in California) and end the increased taxes on affluent Americans that have underwritten much of Obamacare's spending. President Donald Trump is waiting, eager to deliver on a campaign promise to repeal the law.

A Congressional Budget Office analysis found that the House bill would add about 23 million Americans to the ranks of the uninsured.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the bill Thursday and has said he plans a vote on it in the coming week. Republicans can only afford to lose two of their 52 senators and still pass the bill with a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence.

For instance, the Senate GOP proposal would still forbid insurance companies from raising premiums or withholding coverage to people with preexisting medical problems - one of the hallmarks of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. "Until I have the information where I am certain this is ... in the best interest for the folks in Wisconsin - that this puts us in a better position tomorrow than we are today - I'm not going to be voting yes". Both would wipe out most of the taxes and insurance mandates in Obamacare, then curtail rising Medicaid costs to pay for further tax cuts.

Health insurers are concerned about the U.S. Senate's plans to cut the Medicaid program for the poor and the impact such a move would have on state governments, the industry's largest lobbyist said on Friday. In Illinois, which is undergoing a deep budget crisis, Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has only said it has "concerns" as it reviews the plan, a response eliciting scorn from Democrats including prospective challengers next year.

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.

"I think this gets to the core of what it means to have a civilized society", he said. The Senate bill also calls for a tighter cap on federal spending in Medicaid overall than the House bill did. It doesn't address the real-life challenges people have with health care.

As a result, premiums would increase as much as 20 percent, according to government estimates, making coverage unaffordable.

The Senate bill prohibits insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

Healthcare stocks closed down 0.1 % on Friday, clawing back some losses after the sector dropped sharply late in the session on Heller's announcement.

Pushing them from the bottom of society only makes sense if you're also willing to pre-fund health savings accounts for the near-poor, so that they can actually hope to pay their out-of-pocket costs. "I think this bill takes us a big step in that direction".

The House bill, flawed in so many respects, at least made an effort on this front, since its flat subsidy was available to the people now getting hosed by Obamacare prices. Each state has expanded Medicaid and has a GOP senator.

In other areas, Cassidy has argued against measures that would reduce coverage, which this bill clearly will.

On Thursday, Toomey released a statement in response to concerns about cuts, saying "No one now covered by Obamacare will have the rug pulled out from under them". The House bill does, though, still allow states to opt out of covering things like hospitalization, maternity, mental health and drug treatment.

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