Senate Republicans have unveiled their secret “skinny repeal” bill just a few hours before it’s supposed to be voted on. The Health Care Freedom Act, which is really a misnomer since it would provide neither, doesn’t fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, but it certainly takes a stab at it!
Most significantly, the senate’s new bill would repeal the individual mandate, a requirement that Americans must have health insurance or pay a fine, and the employer mandate, which requires that employers provide insurance coverage.
A summary of the bill:
The American Medical Association described the legislation as “a toxic prescription” that would inevitably wreak havoc on the open market.
“Eliminating the individual mandate will lead to adverse selection, triggering higher premiums and further destabilizing the individual market,” President of the AMA David O. Barbe said. “The stated goal was to advance policies to lower premiums, but the “skinny” bill would do the exact opposite, harming patients across the country.”
Senators are expected to cast their votes on the GOP bill early Friday morning. Some Republican senators remain on the fence about casting a “yea” vote: Senator Collins and Senator Murkowski remain opposed as of the bill’s release.
For the second time this week, it appears that Senator John McCain might be the deciding vote. After criticizing the bill on Thursday morning, McCain now refuses to say how he will vote.
President Trump was predictably excited about the senate’s “skinny” repeal of the ACA (since he has yet to accomplish anything in office). He tweeted: “Go Republican Senators, Go! Get there after waiting for 7 years. Give America great healthcare!”
Nothing quite like cheering on as 16 million people careen towards losing their healthcare coverage. The Congressional Budget office estimates that 15 million people would lose health insurance coverage by next year.