One possibility is that McConnell is anxious the provision runs afoul of the procedural rules allowing Republicans to pass the bill with a simple majority vote.
Five Republican senators have announced they will not support the bill, which is created to repeal and replace Obamacare, in its current form. The bill also makes major cuts and structural changes to Medicaid, a health insurance program relied upon by almost 75 million Americans - primarily low-income, disabled, and elderly. Because it preserves more reasonable subsidies than the House bill and because its Medicaid drawdown happens in the distant 2020s - which is to say, perhaps never - it might not be an outright political catastrophe.
President Donald Trump on Saturday defended Senate Republicans' Obamacare repeal by arguing against the law it seeks to roll back. Cathy Infield, an Independence resident with developmental disabilities who spoke with help from an electronic device, relies on in-home care provided through Medicaid and said the cuts could mean she'd need to live in an institution.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that under the House bill, 23 million fewer people would have coverage by 2026. Heller's announcement makes Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's goal of securing 50 of his party's 52 votes by next week even tougher.
Besides the five who've announced outright opposition, several other GOP senators - conservatives and moderates - have declined to commit to the new overhaul.
For instance, the Senate GOP proposal would still forbid insurance companies from raising premiums or withholding coverage to people with preexisting medical problems - one of the hallmarks of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.
Brian Peters is CEO of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.
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Nonetheless, some analysts say that while the Senate bill appears to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, there is a way for insurers' to deny coverage through the bill's state waiver program. The enhanced federal financing that pays for the expansion would disappear entirely in 2024. We reached her in Aspen, Colo., where she's attending a conference. "It's going to throw millions of people off the insured roles, it's going to gut the Medicaid program", said McCaskill. "I have not yet decided whether to vote for the bill, but I can tell you it puts it on a path that's good for the patient, for the state taxpayer and the federal taxpayer, and that's a good thing", he said Friday, according to the Washington Times. It's similar to a bill passed by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives last month. A federal cut results in states raising their share or cutting medical services.
"I do think this is a crisis and I think it's all hands on deck", McCaskill said. "I think this bill takes us a big step in that direction".
So why isn't the continuous-coverage provision already in the bill? It would also slap annual spending caps on the overall Medicaid program, which since its inception in 1965 has provided states with unlimited money to cover eligible costs.
Private Insurance Changes Republicans would make no significant changes to employer-provided coverage, which remains the mainstay of private insurance.
After a shaky start, the White House hopes the Senate debate will allow Trump to turn the page on health care and get a fresh start on rewriting the tax code, a plan to rebuild roads and bridges, and his promise to strengthen the military - none of which will prove easy to accomplish.
On Thursday, Toomey released a statement in response to concerns about cuts, saying "No one now covered by Obamacare will have the rug pulled out from under them".
Molina Healthcare Inc, which has more than 1 million customers in Obamacare plans, said in a statement that dropping the individual mandate with no replacement provision will lead healthy people to forgo coverage and thus drive up premium rates.