The new bill, which passed 217-213 with all approving votes coming from Republicans, seeks to begin the process to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.
According to the Washington Post, the few Republican lawmakers who are courageous enough to go out and face angry voters in their districts were given advice on how to present the American Health Care Act, which was recently passed in the GOP-led House of Representatives.
If the bill is passed by the Senate, only time will tell whether the new AHCA will be a help or a hindrance to America's health. There's growing support for the idea of pegging the tax credits in the House repeal bill to income and making aid more generous for poorer people.
The plea comes in a letter signed by all 46 Democratic senators and the two independents who usually side with them.
"Our focus has always been on bringing down the cost of health insurance, ensuring access to quality care, and protecting those with pre-existing conditions", Black, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, said. For starters, it would cut $900 billion from Medicaid over 10 years.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined the entire democratic caucus in a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, urging them to work in a bipartisan transparent way to reform and improve the health care system. Just 11% of voters said they thought the bill would bring down healthcare costs, while 42% said it would cause costs to rise. White House officials said that under the bill, nobody can be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, with $120 billion in funding earmarked for states to cover the costs for people with such conditions. The American Enterprise Institute released a white paper that advocates auto-enrollment for health care plans to ensure universal health insurance for all Americans. "The second attempt wins the support of 21 percent of voters".
Although the GOP sponsors of the bill that passed today did not wait for a CBO analysis, the American Medical Association, the American Association of Retired Persons and just about every expert in the medical care field have predicted that $8 billion is not almost enough to cover for five years the increases that insurance companies will charge.
Recent polls show that Americans are highly skeptical about the Republican drive to replace the Affordable Care Act with a more conservative, market-based plan and would prefer that Congress and the administration fix the current system rather than trying to replace it. Nineteen percent of respondents said it should be totally repealed, 45 percent said parts of the bill should be repealed and 34 percent said there should be no repeal.