The White House reportedly says the House’s version of a proposed healthcare plan that aims to replace Obamacare will not be gutted, even though some Senators want it to be. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) told “Meet the Press” on Sunday the measure is not dead on arrival, despite some Republican members opposing it in the chamber with a narrow GOP majority.
“This is the way legislation used to be passed: There’d be a House bill. There’d be a Senate bill. Then you’d get together. The conferees who understood, by that time, the intricacies of what they’re doing and come up with a bill that can go to the president’s desk,” said Blunt.
He said the bill must carefully reviewed.
“The Senate is going to be looking at this to see what we can do to take the House work, look at what the House did, look at what we can do to improve that in our view and then see if that’s a bill that in all likelihood you have to go back to the House and say ‘here’s what you think, here’s what we think,’” said Blunt.
He cited one third of the counties in America as currently having one insurance company willing to offer insurance on the individual market. He said five states have one company willing to offer insurance.
“For the states to have more options in Medicaid is a good thing, not a bad thing. Every state is different. This is a huge budget issue in every state. … You know, coverage is different than access, and both in the insurance market where a lot of people have coverage, but nobody has a place to go because their deductible is so high or in Medicaid where people are covered but doctors increasingly don’t want to take Medicaid patients, those are the kind of problems we ought to be solving,” said Blunt.
Opponents of the measure, including U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), said the proposal would deny millions of people healthcare access.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and I have been grateful every single day since to have high-quality health insurance and access to darn good doctors. It’s because of this coverage – which I get through Obamacare – that I can say today I’m cancer-free,” said McCaskill. “Way, way, way too many of our friends and neighbors don’t have the same options, and Trumpcare will only make that worse – especially for people who’ve had the nerve to be sick before. Make no mistake: This plan will deny millions of people access to the kind of care that saved my life. The Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect. It needs to be improved, and I’ve worked on specific ways to improve it. But Trumpcare isn’t the answer – it’ll be a disaster for working families.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) called the House’s proposal, which includes defunding Planned Parenthood, a mistake. The plan redirects most federal funding from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, to community health care centers. About half of the funding in Planned Parenthood’s annual $1 billion budget comes from the federal government, primarily through Medicaid reimbursements.