Senate GOP releases bill to cut Medicaid, alter ‘Obamacare’

Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks on to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017, following a meeting with Senate Republicans on a health reform bill. Senate Republicans would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and erase a raft of tax increases as part of their long-awaited plan to scuttle Barack Obama’s health care law.

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans released their long-awaited bill Thursday to dismantle much of Barack Obama’s health care law, proposing to cut Medicaid for low-income Americans and erase tax boosts that Obama imposed on high-earners and medical companies to finance his expansion of coverage.

The bill would provide tax credits to help people buy insurance. It would also let states get waivers to ignore some coverage standards that “Obamacare” requires of insurers.

The measure represents the Senate GOP’s effort to achieve a top tier priority for President Donald Trump and virtually all Republican members of Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hopes to push it through his chamber next week.

Yet it faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.

At least a half-dozen GOP senators — conservatives as well as moderates — have complained about the proposal, the secrecy with which McConnell drafted it and the speed with which he’d like to whisk it to passage. Facing unanimous Democratic opposition, the bill would fail if just three of the Senate’s 52 GOP senators oppose it.

The measure would provide $50 billion over the next four years that states could use in an effort to shore up…

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