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Senate Republicans Unveil New Health Bill but Divisions Remain

NYT

With the revised bill, the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, had hoped to win the 50 votes he needs to win Senate passage. But the changes may not have been enough to bridge the vast divide that has opened between the Senate’s most conservative Republicans, who had vowed to destroy the Affordable Care Act “root and branch,” and its moderate Republicans, who worry that deep cuts to Medicaid would leave too many in their states without health care.Interactive GraphicWhere Every Senator Stands on the Revised Health Care BillA real-time count of every senator’s position.OPEN Interactive GraphicRepublicans said the revised bill would provide roughly $70 billion in additional funds that states could use to help reduce premiums, hold down out-of-pocket costs and otherwise make health care more affordable. The bill already included more than $100 billion for such purposes.But the new bill, like earlier versions, would still convert Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a system of fixed payments to states. In the event of a public health emergency, state Medicaid spending in a particular part of a state would not be counted toward the spending limits, known as per capita caps, a concession to moderate Republicans but perhaps not enough to get the 50 votes needed for passage.Continue reading the main storyOverall, the new version of the bill made broad concessions to conservative Republicans who had maintained that the initial draft left too much of the Affordable Care Act in place. Mr. McConnell then backfilled the bill with money intended to placate moderates. That jury-rigging of the bill left neither side completely satisfied.For instance, in a departure from current law, the bill would allow insurers, under certain conditions, to offer health plans that did not comply with standards in the Affordable Care Act.

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Senate Republicans Unveil New Health Bill but Divisions Remain

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