(WTNH) — Senate Republicans just unveiled their Health Care Bill on Thursday, and it looks like the bill is already on life-support. The bill’s biggest obstacle could be opposition from within the Republican party.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, toured a non profit nursing home in New Britain this morning, stopping to talk to residents and workers. The experts are still analyzing what exactly this latest GOP health care plan would do, but it definitely lets insurers charge older people up to five times more than younger people. It also gradually cuts medicaid, and Blumenthal says two thirds of all nursing home residents receive medicaid subsidies of some kind.
Blumenthal says he’ll take what he learns today and use it to try to talk republicans out of some of these cuts.
“I’m convinced that if my colleagues see and hear this picture – these voices and faces – they will be opposed to this bill,” Blumenthal said.
Now that the Senate Republican health care bill is public, it is clearer than ever why Majority Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans hid it for weeks. Not only will the bill ration health care for millions of Americans, it is a massive giveaway to the wealthy at the expense of our kids.”
The proposal would roll back subsidies that helped poorer Americans pay for insurance. It allows insurance companies to charge older Americans more, so again we have a bill that would make health care harder to afford for the poor and the old.
“This is a nasty bill and they are trying to cover it up with little things here and there,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY.
“The intention is not to take down the bill, the intention is to make the bill better,” Senator Rand Paul, R-KY.
Senator Paul is one of the reasons the GOP does not have the votes to push this through right now. He is one Republican senator who thinks this bill does not go far enough in terms of gutting Obamacare.
Other Republican Senators side with the Democrats, that this strips benefits from too many people. For instance, states can now opt out of requiring insurance to cover things like maternity care.
This bill also gets rid of the Obamacare mandates, where you had to get insurance or pay a fine. Lots of people were against those. Of course, they were there because insurance works by lots of healthy people paying in, and only a a few sick people needing a payout.
So right now, Senate Republicans do not have the votes to pass their own bill. Even if they did, it is different enough from the House bill that there would be a fight with the other half of Congress over several key points.
If you want to speak out, Blumenthal and Senator Chris Murphy are scheduled to be in New Haven City Hall to hear from you about your health insurance concerns. That is at 1:30 in the aldermanic chambers. Then they will be in Bridgeport at the Southwest Community Health Center on Albion Street at 4:30.