A bipartisan group of governors has a message for Senate leaders about health care improvement: Slacken your roll.
Republican governors John Kasich of Ohio, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts joined Democratic governors Steve Bullock of Montana, John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, John Hickenlooper of Colorado, and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania in a letter Friday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell( R-Ky .) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer( D-N.Y .).
” We have watched with much interest the recent debate and House passage of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act ,” the letter begins.” While we certainly agree that improvements need to be made to our nation’s health care system, as governors from both sides of the political aisle, we feel that true and lasting reforms are best approached by finding common ground in a bipartisan style .”
So far, that’s the direct opposite of how the Republican-led Congress has approached legislating on health care.
The House passed its version of the American Health Care Act on a party-line election in May that followed weeks of internal GOP wrangling behind the scenes. Lower chamber Republicans approved this bill without waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to analyze its effects. Eventually, the CBO reported the legislation would lead to 23 million fewer people with health coverage in the course of the coming decade.
The governors underscore the importance of improving the private health insurance market and Medicaid, and say the House legislation — which the Senate is using as the basis for its bill — fails to do those things.
” Unfortunately, H.R. 1628, as passed by the House, does not meet these challenges. It are questioning coverage for the vulnerable and fails to provide the necessary resources to ensure that no one is left out, while changing substantial costs to the states ,” the governors write.
The Senate is copying the House’s tactics as well as its policies. McConnell skipped the whole commission process in favor of assigning a task force to write his chamber’s version of the statute behind closed doors.
Even Republican senators profess they don’t know what will be in the legislation or what it will do, although none am trying to army McConnell to change his tacking. Senate rules expect this particular bill to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office before coming to the storey for a vote.
Senate Democrats have offered to negotiate with Republican on health care, but only if the goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act were set aside in favor of improving existing health care programs.
In their letter, the governors urge the Senate to act to stabilize the health insurance markets for people who don’t get health benefits from their employers, which comprises insurance bought directly from insurers or via the Affordable Care Act’s exchange marketplaces like HealthCare.gov.
” First and foremost, Congress should focus on improving our nation’s private health insurance system ,” the governors write.
The House-passed statute would cut Medicaid funding by one-quarter in the course of the coming 10 times by intent the expansions and curtailing federal spending on the program overall, which also provides children, pregnant women, people with disabilities and elderly nursing home residents.
” Medicaid provisions included in this[ House] invoice are particularly problematic ,” the governors write.
The governors likewise give a wide-ranging set of principles they believe should be the foundation of a brand-new health care improvement suggestion, including stabilizing insurance sells, retaining Medicaid while offering nations greater leeway to run their programs, and promoting more affordable private insurance.
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