OK, try this health care bill

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has released yet another health care bill, designed to pick up support from both conservative and moderate Republicans who opposed the previous version for different reasons.

This new plan to replace–or, some say, revise–Obamacare keeps more of that program’s taxes and provides more money for opioid addiction, low-income subsidies, and insurance company relief.  A proposal aimed at conservatives is to allow insurance companies to offer stripped-down policies–not loaded up with government requirements–at a low cost.

McConnell can pass the bill with only two Republican defections.  Senators Rand Paul (Kentucky) and Susan Colllins (Maine) have already said they won’t support the revised bill.  (Ten Republican senators rejected the earlier option.)  So he has to win over the rest.

Do you think this bill is enough of an improvement to pass?  Do you think it should?  Details of the plan after the jump.

From Russell Berman, What’s Inside Mitch McConnell’s Latest Health-Care Proposal – The Atlantic:

The revised Senate health-care bill that Republican leaders released on Thursday morning seemingly has something for everyone—but perhaps not enough for anyone.

Seeking to quell a revolt from more than one-fifth of his conference, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to forego two significant tax cuts for the wealthy and instead pour hundreds of billions of dollars back into the proposal he released two weeks ago. There’s now $45 billion to combat opioid addiction and even more funding to help mitigate higher insurance costs for low-income people and to stabilize the individual markets. An additional $70 billion would go to states to  to help drive down premiums, on top of $112 billion that was in the original proposal. McConnell’s target was senators toward the center of the Republican ranks, who represented the largest bloc of opposition to his first legislative draft.

To woo conservative critics, the majority leader added a provision based on a proposed amendment from Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah—backed by pressure from a number of activist groups—that would allow insurance companies to sell stripped-down, inexpensive plans that don’t conform to Obamacare’s standards as long as they offer at least one policy that does. Well, sort of. McConnell’s draft includes the Cruz-Lee idea in brackets, an indication of its polarizing and therefore precarious status within the GOP health-care debate.

McConnell needs to pick up support from both ends of the ideological spectrum. He can afford only two Republican defections, and at least 10 of his members had come out against the first version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act before McConnell abandoned plans to bring it up for a vote last month. Two of those critics, Senator Susan Collins of Maine in the center and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on the right, appear to have hardened in their opposition this week. Collins said it would take “a complete overhaul” to win her support, and Paul has gone on a media tour to rail against the revised proposal, saying that based on what he had heard, it was even worse than the original because it repealed less of Obamacare and included a bigger “bailout” for insurers.

Within hours after the revised draft’s release, both Paul and Collins reiterated their opposition to it and said they would vote against even bringing it up for debate.

From Russell Berman, What’s Inside Mitch McConnell’s Latest Health-Care Proposal – The Atlantic:

Illustration by Mike Licht, “GOP Healthcare Bill:  DOA,” Flickr, Creative Commons License.

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