As we come to yet another session of voting on the Healthcare bill, the divide within the medical community is very clear and rather alarming.
Many doctors and hospitals are very strongly advocating against the bill, while some even took the initiative of sending letters to the leaders of the Senate, addressing their concerns about the $772 billion the bill is set to cut from Medicaid.
The ObamaCare repeal bill includes deep cuts being made on Medicaid and focuses on reshaping the program to a system that relies on capped federal payments and limits spending.
A recent study further highlights that the bill favors the rich far more than the poor population. The Time talks about the study, “A new study, released Tuesday, offers one reason why: The measure dramatically favors the wealthiest Americans, at the expense of the least well off. The study, conducted by the Tax Policy Center — a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and Urban Institute and the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center — used economic models to estimate the effect of the Senate health bill’s impact on Americans in all different income groups.”
They further highlight that the studies shows, ” roughly 14 million American families earning $200,000 or more would enjoy an annual net benefit of roughly $5,400 a year by 2026, when the law would be fully implemented, the study found.
Poorer families would not benefit significantly from the bill’s tax cuts, and would be hurt by other provisions, which include less generous health insurance tax credits and less generous Medicaid spending than what they would be able to count on under Obamacare,” as stated by the Time.
While, those in favor of the bill pointed out that the bill contains provisions such as $140 billion in tax cuts and $50 billion over the course of four years to stabilize the insurance market. Furthermore, it also contains a little more than $60 million to help insurance providers cover patients with high costs.
The BlueCross BlueShield Association backed the bill by stating, “We are encouraged that the draft Senate legislation funds cost-sharing reductions, which help those who need it most with out-of-pocket costs, so they can access care,” the group said. “The state stability and innovation program will also go a long way in helping to cover the costs of caring for those with significant medical needs.”
Anthem, too showed their support and stated, “We believe the Senate discussion draft will markedly improve the stability of the individual market and moderate premium increases” because it appropriates billions of dollars in short-term funding to shore up the exchanges, provides cost-sharing reduction funds and eliminates a tax on health insurance plans, Anthem said in a statement.
Jeff Myers, president and CEO of Medicaid Health Plans of America expressed, “Reconciliation makes that kumbaya moment very hard,” and that at the time of ObamaCare, “while everyone was giving up something, there was some value in the creation of new opportunities. But they’re not passing out candy here.”
Moreover, it has been noted that the bill is most likely to adopt the tax cuts much similar to those implemented under ObamaCare.. Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune, of South Dakota said, “I don’t think anything is final, but obviously that is the direction I think a lot of our members want to move,” Thune said after a closed-door meeting with GOP lawmakers. “Which is to keep some of those [taxes] in place and be able to use those revenues to put into other places in the bill where it can make a difference.”
It is be noted, the Republicans are at least seven votes short of the 50 votes they need to get the bill approved by the Senate. Sources have highlighted that as soon as a draft copy of the bill was made available, quite a chunk of the GOP senators strongly expressed their discontent. The senators although argued against the bill, they too had divided opinion. While, some argued that the bill was not conservative enough, another group such as Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and Dean Heller of Nevada argued that the bill appeared to be way too conservative.