Senate Republicans to release draft of healthcare bill as details emerge

Draft language will come after weeks of secrecy surrounding bill to repeal Affordable Care Act, which could see Senate vote as early as next week

Health secretary Tom Price (center). According to reports, the bill proposes repealing key provision of the ACA, restructuring subsidies and cutting Medicaid funding. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Senate Republican leaders are on Thursday to unveil draft language of legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), after weeks of secrecy surrounding their effort to prepare a healthcare bill to be voted on as early as next week.

The Senate bill is expected to follow the template laid out in the House version, which narrowly passed last month, but with key differences.

According to reports in the Washington Post and Politico, sourced to a draft that was circulating among lobbyists and aides, the Senate proposal would repeal key provisions of the ACA, restructure healthcare subsidies, and cut funding for Medicaid, the healthcare program for low-income Americans.

It would keep income-based tax credits and subsidies – currently available under the ACA – unlike the House measure, which tied them to age. The proposal would also stagger the cuts to Medicaid expansion, rolling back spending on the healthcare program over four years – as opposed to three, as had been considered – beginning in 2020, according to Politico. This provision is a victory for moderates who were concerned about abruptly cutting Medicaid.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell will brief his caucus on the proposal during a meeting on Thursday morning, when the bill is expected to be made public. McConnell has said he would like to vote on the bill before Congress leaves for the Fourth of July recess, at the end of next week.

The details of the plan are subject to change, especially after negotiations to assemble a bill that can earn 50 votes.

Republicans, who hold 52 seats and a majority of four in the 100-member Senate,…

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