May 22, 2017

The Senate is Now Working on Health Care

Will the Senate’s health care bill save the ACA?

by Caitlin Martin

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan

**Who’s working on the bill?
**The initial list of Senators working on replace and repeal of the ACA had 13 senators — all male. They are:

  • Tom Cotton (R-AR)
  • Cory Gardner (R-CO)
  • Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
  • Rob Portman (R-OH)
  • Pat Toomey (R-PA)
  • John Thune (R-SD)
  • John Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Ted Cruz (R-TX)
  • Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • Mike Lee (R-UT)
  • Mike Enzi (R-WY)
  • John Barrasso (R-WY)

This working group meets every Tuesday and Thursday in closed door meetings. Despite the fallout from FBI Director James Comey’s firing and the events of the past week, this group is continuing to work on healthcare and will be doing so throughout the summer. The group is having the same problems the House did — trying to find consensus among the different members of the Republican party.

**Is there an alternative?
**Moderate Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have introduced their own health care plan. It would let states keep the ACA in place if they wanted to; it also leaves the ACA’s taxes and fees in place so that those revenue streams continue to fund it. In addition, states could adopt a different approached based on Health Savings plans that would be funded by the government to be used for purchasing health insurance or they could decline to repeal. You can read more about this bill here:

ACA Replacement Bill From Cassidy And Colleagues Offers State Options, Roth HSAs

Democrats are expected to vote “no” on any Republican plan.

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