Senate Republicans Finally Unveil Trumpcare Bill Details

CBS News reports:

Senate Republicans unveiled a “discussion draft” of the bill Thursday of their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare that would end the health care law’s penalties for people who don’t buy insurance, cut back an expansion of Medicaid, but would keep more protections for people with pre-existing conditions, compared to a House-passed bill.

The measure would also eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood and provide tax credits based on income, making more money available to lower income recipients to help them buy insurance. The House bill tied its tax credits to age.

Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, aims to hold a vote on the legislation before lawmakers leave at the end of next week for the week-long July 4 recess. A cost estimate of the bill from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is expected to be released by early next week. White House staff met with Senate Republican staffers Wednesday night on Capitol Hill to review the bill.

More from CNN:

McConnell’s decision to keep the details tightly under wraps until Thursday was intentional and aimed at winning over his colleagues out of the public spotlight, but the secretive process has infuriated Democrats — and aggravated plenty of Republicans, too.

“I need the information to justify a ‘yes’ vote. I have a hard time believing that we would have that in such a short period of time,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, told CNN on Wednesday. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham joked: “We’ll know if it’s a boy or girl tomorrow.”

McConnell has very little room for error — he can only lose two Republican votes and still pass the bill. President Donald Trump said Wednesday night he hopes to “surprise” with a plan that has “heart.”

And from Bloomberg:

Like the House bill, the Senate version effectively ends both the employer and individual mandates to buy health insurance. Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma said Thursday that the bill has his support. “It does, but it’s just a starting point,” he said.

The legislation is expected to result in millions of people losing insurance when evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office — an estimate the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he expects by Monday. The CBO said the House-passed bill would result in 23 million fewer people with insurance by 2026.

Republicans negotiated with the Senate parliamentarian to see which pieces of their emerging draft comply with rules governing the use of a mechanism allowing the bill to pass the Senate with only 50 votes, plus the support of Vice President Mike Pence.

UPDATE: The Human Rights Campaign reacts:

“If the Trump-McConnell health care bill becomes law, it will threaten the lives of countless Americans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “For LGBTQ people, who already face health care disparities, this proposal is downright dangerous. Both the House and Senate versions of the bill gut core provisions of the Affordable Care Act and cut off tens of millions of Americans from life-saving health care coverage while increasing out-of-pocket costs. This unconscionable proposal — drafted behind closed doors, without public input — is a disturbingly harmful bill that Senators must reject.”