Friday, 20 October, 2017

The Dangers of the Senate Health Care Vote

Millions March for Medicare A Brief History of American Health Reform
Lance Thomas | 28 July, 2017, 00:10

Senate Republicans mustered the support necessary to clear a key procedural hurdle Tuesday that will allow the chamber to hold a vote on several pieces of legislation created to, in some fashion or another, overhaul the US health insurance system.

A likely scenario includes the introduction of a "skinny repeal" that would eliminate some the mandates and taxes included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

This confuses me because the president and those who won congressional elections campaigned on three major important themes concerning health care.

Senate passage of a health care bill would set up discussions with the House, which approved its version in May.

After 20 hours of debate, the Senate will then proceed to the so-call vote-a-rama, a process under which almost unlimited amendments can be offered by both Democrats and Republicans. Millions of people were forced to give up health-insurance policies with which they were perfectly happy, so claims that "millions will lose their coverage" when Obamacare hits the dumpster ring hollow. Why is it the taxpayers' duty to pay for someone else's medical costs?

For one, it doesn't do much to actually dismantle Obamacare-it simply addresses some of its enforcement and funding mechanisms.

Now that the new health care bill is out, it's time for vote-counting and horse-trading. That's a far cry from the far-reaching American Health Care Act passed by the more conservative House of Representatives earlier this year, which would gut numerous Obamacare protections and massively scale back the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled, as well as from the BCRA. In fact, Arizona Sen. John McCain was right in the middle of it on Tuesday when he spoke to his fellow members. He called on a bipartisan bill to shore up health insurance markets.

Responding to the vote by the Senate to move forward with debate on a bill aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, U.S. bishops urged senators "to work together to advance changes that serve the common good" and not to enact current G.O.P. -backed proposals that they said "would harm millions of struggling Americans".

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