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All we know for sure about the Senate health care plan is what Republican senators have disclosed, namely that
1) It will be absolutely NOTHING like the House health care plan, and
2) It will address ALL of the concerns expressed by health care providers, Republican governors, and the millions of Americans who stood to lose coverage under the House plan, and
3) It will be a bill "with heart," per the president's express (if somewhat imprecise) instruction.
So will the final product be a BB gun? A bicycle, perhaps?
May I have the envelope, please?
Oh, look, Mom and Dad! It isn't a bicycle at all! It's a massive tax break for the wealthy! Or, more specifically, a massive repatriation of the money the Affordable Care Act had threatened to squander on people much sicker (or at least much poorer) than most Republican donors.
OK, so we all knew that much. But what about the details?
Republicans are still negotiating among themselves, but we can be fairly certain that:
1) The Senate plan will in fact be very similar to the House plan, and
2) The Senate plan will address almost none of the concerns expressed by health care providers and consumers, except that a lot of Republicans want to cover treatment for opioid addiction, a national epidemic that is also the GOP's Malady of the Month. (Turns out that when Republican lawmakers objected to picking winners and losers, they weren't talking about winning and losing medical conditions.)
3) The Senate plan will demonstrate "heart" by calling for a kinder, gentler tax cut that will reduce or eliminate coverage for millions of Americans only after most current Republican lawmakers have either left Washington or secured lucrative lobbying gigs with large insurance companies.
These are only the broad outlines of the Senate plan, of course, but I wanted Free Press readers to have a running start on their Republican representatives in Congress.

Healthcare is the right of every human being...not just those of us lucky enough to be able to afford it. This is not about politics. Or party. This is about humanity. #riseup #resist #preexistingcondition #trumpcareisnocare #healthcareisahumanright

Looks like we are still covered for any Independence Day emergency room visits (fireworks are legal in Maine!) #trumpcareisnocare

I'm going to be so fit from all these damn marches! Who needs jazzercise when this administration is giving us something new every week? #resist #trumpcareisnocare


"Trumpcare is dead! Seriously a victory for all of us to celebrate!
Want to overhaul care? Let's discuss a single payer system."
#trumpcareisnocare #standupforwhatisright #healthcareforall #healthcare #healthcareisahumanright

3 senators who put country before party. Please call them today to thank them for saving healthcare for our nation's sick, old and poor. They stood up for what's right. Bravo! #365days #day204 #killthebill #trumpcareisnocare #healthcareforall #johnmccain #lisamurkowski #susancollins

The U.S. stands almost entirely alone among developed nations that lack universal health care. #healthcareforall #healthcareisahumanright #dumptrump #trumpcareisnocare #universalhealthcare

"Decent, quality healthcare as a fundamental right and not a privilege."-Senator Edward Kennedy. #healthcareisaright #savetheaca #ProtectourCare #tedkennedy #senatoredwardkennedy #killthebill #trumpcareisnocare

How would the GOP healthcare bills affect people who get coverage through Medicaid?
Both the state and the federal government pay for Medicaid, and under both GOP bills, the federal contribution would go way down over the next 10 years and beyond. States would have to make tough decisions, including considering limits on who is eligible for that funding, reductions in services covered or limits on what they pay providers and insurance companies.

Medicaid cuts could affect people's access to addiction treatment. Medicaid spending on addiction medicine skyrocketed in the past five years, with the biggest increases in Medicaid expansion states

I live in a rural area. How would these changes affect my access to care?
People in rural areas could be disproportionately hurt by the GOP plans. They face particularly unstable insurance markets, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Smaller populations plus smaller subsidies could lead to fewer people buying individual insurance coverage in these areas, making exchanges less profitable. Some rural areas already face this problem under the Affordable Care Act. In addition, rural areas would be disproportionately affected by cuts to Medicaid

What would be the effect of the Senate healthcare bill on taxes?
The bill would repeal Affordable Care Act taxes on corporations and would cut some taxes for the wealthy. The cuts in the Senate's first version would add up to about $563 billion in tax cuts over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Nearly 45 percent of those benefits will go back to the top 1 percent of earners. In January 2020, the bill would also repeal a tax charged to employers on employee health insurance premiums and benefits. The CBO will soon update its score for the new bill, introduced on July 13, 2017.

Two large health insurance industry groups, American's Health Insurance Plans and the BlueCross BlueShield Association, have called the Senate bill's provision allowing the sale of skimpier plans "simply unworkable in any form"and said that it would mean prices go up and millions of people who buy on the individual market will lose insurance. One large insurer, Anthem, came out in favor of parts of the House bill while others expressed reservations

How could the bill affect women’s health?
A one-year block would be placed on federal reimbursements for any care provided by Planned Parenthood. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 15 percent of women who are low-income and don't have access to many health care options would lose access to family planning care entirely. This would increase birthrates and Medicaid spending for childbirth and children’s insurance. The Senate bill would implement restrictions on using tax credits to buy insurance plans that cover abortions, except in the case of rape or incest or when a pregnancy puts the mother's life in danger. The restrictions would go into effect in January 2018. One Connecticut professor warns that women's health care would be deeply affected and that the proposed changes could be damaging for women and children.

The Senate bill would implement restrictions on using tax credits to buy insurance plans that cover abortions and would ban the use of federal funds for any insurance that covers abortion, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the pregnancy puts the mother's life in danger. The restrictions would go into effect in January 2018

This is F'ing 🍌 🤔. The GOP legislation would put financial burdens on 55- to 64-year-olds, who tend to have more pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. If either of the bills becomes law, older people could be charged five times as much as a younger person for insurance. Right now, they can only be charged three times as much.

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