Thursday, June 22, 2017

Senate Health Care Bill Is Out

by Brian Burch, CatholicVote:   At long last, Senate Republicans have a health care bill.

It’s not the same bill that passed the House. They even gave it a new name: “The Better Care Reconciliation Act” or BCRA.

It’s not as good as the House bill, but I’ll admit this: It is far Better than Obamacare.

Here are some key provisions of the Senate bill:
  • Prohibits most taxpayer funding from going to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood for one year, and redirect those funds to Federally Qualified Health Centers.
  • Transforms Obamacare subsidies into tax credits and prohibits these credits from purchasing insurance with coverage for elective abortions. (This will be the toughest provision to pass through the reconciliation process). Tax credits will be adjusted for income, age, and geography.
  • Guarantees that children with medically complex disabilities will continue to be covered.
  • Maintains access to care for Americans with pre-existing conditions and lets children up to age 26 stay on their parents’ insurance plan
  • Expands tax-free Health Savings Accounts to help Americans control out-of-pocket medical expenses on their own
  • Allows for waivers so states can establish rules for alternative insurance plans that will help drive down skyrocketing premiums
  • Repeals almost all Obamacare taxes.
  • Rolls back Obamacare’s reckless expansion of Medicaid so that the program can be stabilized and provide for the people it was created for.

It’s worth noting that this is the base bill. There will be hundreds of amendments offered to change the bill. Some amendments could definitely improve this bill. Others will try to weaken the bill, or make it unaffordable.

Our position on the current state of things:

While we still prefer a clean break from Obamacare, we recognize the prospects for such a solution are near zero. For now, we are forced to work on incremental reforms to unwind the mess posed by Obamacare in so many areas.

We MUST repeal as much of Obamacare’s burdensome taxes, regulations and financing for abortion as possible. This will help stabilize premiums, offer Americans real choices, and stop using taxpayer dollars to kill children. These changes can help set in motion much needed changes to make healthcare more ethical and affordable.

Unwinding it won’t be easy because real people are tangled up in Obamacare’s mess.

Furthermore, the limits of the legislative process required to pass the bill (reconciliation) do not allow every change needed at this time. The slim Republican majority in the Senate is also complicating the process. Already as many as 4 Republican Senators have expressed serious reservations over the bill. But even these four Senators have said "we are open to negotiation." So changes will be needed to win their support.

Meanwhile Democrats have vowed not to negotiate whatsoever, and to obstruct instead -- choosing to hold health care hostage for political gain. They care more about “preserving Obama’s legacy” than helping hard-working Americans.

These Democrats deserve to pay a price for their stubborn refusal to reform a failing health care law. Which is exactly why we are laying the groundwork to defeat several of these Democratic Senators next year. If they refuse to do their job, they need to go.

We are working hard to represent you and the interests of Catholic voters in this fight.

Tags: Brian Burch, CatholicVote, U.S. Senate, Health Care Bill To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

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