The speech by Dr. Tom Price, the US 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.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness also sharply criticized the bill, urging its supporters to call senators to voice their opposition, especially to the billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid. President Donald Trump is waiting, eager to deliver on a campaign promise to repeal the law.
Hospital groups came out against the bill on Thursday.
Senate GOP leaders hope to schedule a vote on the bill before the Fourth of July recess.
Not so, said Tara O'Neill Hayes, deputy director of health-care policy at the conservative American Action Forum.
"The Senate bill will slash funding for our nation's Medicaid program, which provides coverage for 20 percent of Americans and 39 percent of children, many of whom have asthma, COPD and other lung diseases", Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association, said in a statement.
Nearly as soon as Senate Republicans released their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act Thursday, New York's leaders in politics and health care criticized the plan for its impact on the state's residents. "That means that my daughter will max out in a year or two, or even quicker for all we know", she said. About 11 million Americans gained coverage under Obamacare's Medicaid expansion provision.
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"Like the disastrous House proposal, this bill will strip coverage from millions of New Yorkers, cost NY state billions of dollars, and devastate our health care system", said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement.
While the Senate bill would open up the subsidies to enrollees below the poverty level who don't qualify for Medicaid, it's questionable whether the poor could afford coverage even with federal assistance.
The Affordable Care Act hasn't aggressively targeted the root factors that have caused America's health-care system to be the world's most expensive.
Insurers would receive more federal funds.
"I am deeply concerned about the potential effects of a one-size-fits-all approach", he said. "We'll have to see". Reducing taxes, Republicans argue, will boost the economy, and shrinking spending on programs such as Medicaid will slow the growth of the federal debt.
Allen said the council is also amenable to people losing their tax credit altogether if they don't maintain continuous coverage.
SLAVITT: Well, this is really curious because one of the things that this policy does is it takes the portion of the insurance that is paid by the insurance company down from 70 percent to 58 percent, which means that deductibles are going to go up to somewhere between $6,000 and $7,000 on average, and that's quite puzzling given that the major criticism was deductibles were too high.
"In its current state, people on Medicaid can't find a doctor", she said. To deal with the funding reductions, states would have to make hard decisions affecting children's coverage and scope of benefits.
Because the health law guarantees access to individual coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and bars insurers from charging sick people more for coverage, the individual mandate helps ensure that a mix of healthy and sick people are covered.