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Senate GOP bill calls for deep Medicaid cuts

June 22, 2017
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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Medicaid will be cut slower but ultimately deeper under the Senate healthcare plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

A group of 13 Senate Republicans lead by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed their healthcare bill as promised Thursday morning following weeks of speculation and closed-door meetings.

McConnell met with Republican senators in a room near the Senate chamber to debrief them. The 142-page legislation, called a “discussion draft,” was then posted online.

“Republicans believe we have a responsibility to act—and we are,” McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi agreed the Senate proposal is similar to the American Health Care Act passed last month by the House of Representatives with some important distinctions.

House legislation tied federal insurance subsidies to age, but the Senate bill would link them to income as the Affordable Care Act does.

The Senate version would end the open-ended entitlement and would phase out the extra money the federal government provided to states to expand Medicaid but at a slower rate than the House version. But it would go further in cutting Medicaid by tying federal spending to an even slower growth index starting in 2025, which could cause states to reduce the size of their Medicaid programs.

The Congressional Budget Office announced via Twitter it will try to issue a score next week. That score is necessary before the bill can be considered on the floor.

McConnell has expressed desire to vote on the bill before the July 4 recess.

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