Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Senate leaders await analysis of GOP health bill

Education Minister Nikki Kaye has responded to concerns from schools Robert Kitchin Fairfax NZ Education Minister Nikki Kaye has responded to concerns from schools
Johnnie Parks | 26 May, 2017, 10:43

While the Trump administration has been making the payments, and will continue to do so, mixed messages from the White House - including a Politico report last week that Trump personally told aides he wanted to stop the payments - have insurers spooked that the subsidies' days may be numbered.

The CBO's analysis, or "score", is expected late Wednesday, taking into account final changes to the bill before it passed the Republican-led House earlier this month.

It remains to be seen whether the GOP-controlled majority - which has been considering more sweeping legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act - will be willing to shift gears and coalesce around a more short-term fix.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday he does not yet know how Republicans will amass the votes needed to pass legislation now being crafted to dismantle Obamacare, but expressed some optimism on another top priority, overhauling the tax code.

Democrats didn't vote for the plan and have used it to try to put political pressure on Republicans.

"There clearly has to be sort of a short-term solution", Sen.

Instead, Cornyn said he believes conversations are already underway about how Republicans can negotiate with Democrats to avoid across-the-board spending cuts that are scheduled to go into effect in October. "There has to be some certainty with the insurers".

He also noted good prospects for bipartisanship on a bill to expand sanctions against Iran, due for debate in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week, and renewal of a Food and Drug Administration user-fee program that expires later this year.

Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress want to cut tax rates across the board, but a House proposal to use the tax code to boost exports and discourage imports has split the business community and some lawmakers.

President Donald Trump's first full budget calls for deep cuts to popular health insurance programs that are part of the social safety net.

The House version would end in 2020 the extra federal payments that states get under Obama's law for expanding Medicaid to additional people.

Some schools have been increasingly relying on parental donations to make ends meet
Some schools have been increasingly relying on parental donations to make ends meet

And Trump has repeatedly threatened to withhold federal aid that helps millions of low-income Americans afford their deductibles and co-pays.

The Obama administration appealed, and the payments are set to continue while the appeal is ongoing. On Monday, the administration sought to delay the lawsuit again, effectively prolonging uncertainty over the fate of the payments.

"Without the subsidies, health plans face painful choices".

"Patients who don't have insurance live sicker and die younger", said Dr. Andrew Gurman, president of the American Medical Association, which signed on to the recent letter to Senate leaders.

Since it became law in 2010, Republicans have railed against Obamacare, arguing that it is too expensive and involves the government too deeply in Americans' healthcare decisions.

In addition, the new report could say whether the bill achieved enough budget savings to retain special protections the legislation would have to shield it from a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. The GOP claimed the money should have been funded through a congressional appropriation. But it does prompt some people to purchase insurance, which helps curb premiums and make markets viable.

McConnell said Trump and Pence could play an important role when it comes to "whipping" up support for whatever bill is produced.

"We've discussed quite a bit the possibility of a two-step process", said Sen.

But McConnell and other senior GOP leaders have thus far indicated no public interest in such a move.

He added, "Whatever CBO says about the House bill today, this much is absolutely clear: the status quo under Obamacare is completely unacceptable and totally unsustainable".

But Rep. Darin LaHood of Peoria said his party's proposal, "while not ideal, is the first step in a process that will roll back the Obamacare regulations that are burdening our health care system".

Cavs remain humble with chance to closeout Celtics in Game 5
Kevin Love has looked more comfortable in wine and gold than ever before this series and Boston has had no answer for him. So, I say to you National Basketball Association critics (mainly ESPN) and fans, give Kyrie Irving some damn credit.


Media watchers blame hostility toward reporters on Trump
Two major Montana newspapers, the Billings Gazette and the Missoulian , pulled their endorsements of Gianforte. After an investigation, the Gallatin county sheriff's office charged Gianforte with misdemeanor assault .


Ex-CIA chief concerned over Trump campaign Kremlin contacts
By the time the American officials realize what's going on, it may be "too late", Brennan told lawmakers. John McCain asked about the report, Coats declined to answer.


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