Details of the Secret Senate Health Care Bill Have Leaked

After keeping the Senate healthcare bill secret even from Republican Senators in the so-called health care working group, Senator Mitch McConnell promised to release a discussion draft of the bill Thursday morning ahead of a potential vote next week. But by Wednesday evening details of the bill had leaked.

According to The Washington Post, much like the American Health Care Act that narrowly passed the House in May, the Senate bill would:


  • roll back the Affordable Care Act’s taxes
  • phase down its Medicaid expansion
  • rejigger its subsidies
  • give states wider latitude in opting out of its regulations
  • eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

The Senate version does make some changes to the House bill in an effort to make it more palatable to some of the Senate's more moderate members.

While the House legislation tied federal insurance subsidies to age, the Senate bill would link them to income, as the ACA does. The Senate proposal cuts off Medicaid expansion more gradually than the House bill,\ but would enact deeper long-term cuts to the health-care program for low-income Americans. It also removes language restricting federally subsidized health plans from covering abortions, which may have run afoul of complex budget rules.

Slate sums up the differences between the two bills:

The Senate bill keeps Obamacare’s subsidy structure in place while paring back eligibility, guts Medicaid more slowly but more severely than the House bill, and still lets states drop essential consumer protections, although not as many as the House.

Democrats were not impressed.

The secret process with which the bill has been written has not worn well with the public. Since the House passed its version of the AHCA, support for the bill has plummeted, even among Republicans.

McConnell was set to unveil the bill to his Republican colleagues at a meeting Thursday morning. It's expected that the bill will undergo further changes in order to get to the 50 votes needed to pass. McConnell's hope is to hold a vote next week before the Senate leaves on its July 4th recess.

ABC News

As more information becomes available regarding the virus that's caused a public health crisis in the United States, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged Americans in hard-hit areas to begin wearing cloth masks to cover their faces.

Unlike medical professionals, who need N95 masks (of which there is a shortage) when treating virus patients, average Americans can wear makeshift cloth masks that block the saliva droplets through which the virus is spread.

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Given President Donald Trump's propensity for lying and his administration's constant misinformation regarding the current global pandemic, Americans across the country have become selective about which sources they deem as credible in seeking potentially lifesaving information in the face of a national health crisis.

Iowa's Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, is in stark disagreement with most Americans on whom to trust regarding measures designed to curb the virus.

Iowa is one of a few states that still has yet to issue a stay-at-home order to slow the virus's spread. Reynolds has resisted taking the step despite a unanimous recommendation from the Iowa Board of Medicine to do so.

National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that all states should institute these orders.

Reynolds's response was...telling.

After calling stay-at-home orders a "divisive issue," the governor said:

"I would say that maybe [Fauci] doesn't have all the information"

Fauci has quickly become one of the most notable figures in the pandemic's response, and one of the few officials in President Donald Trump's virus task force that Americans widely trust to deliver accurate information. He's been an integral part of curbing health crises from the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States to Avian Flu to H1N1 and more.

If Fauci doesn't have all the information, then the country is—for lack of a better word—completely screwed.

People were appalled at the governor's defense.





It's safe to say that Fauci has more information and experience in these situations than any governor in the nation—including Reynolds.



The death toll in the United States from the virus recently surpassed 6000.

Information saves lives. Ignorance endangers them.

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