Senate Health Care Bill has been released

As expected, the Senate version of the Republican Health Care Bill has been released. It is 142 pages long, so I have not yet had time to read it, but there is a summary at the Senate Budget website - the link is included. Note that the summary is written in Republican Happyspeak so that it sounds wonderful - like it will fix our healthcare problems, save you all a lot of money, and include a free trip to Disneyland for everyone.

We're going to have to wait until the bill is scored, but it appears that the real story is that many people will lose access to health care, the rest of us will have trouble paying for it, and the net effect will be another huge transfer of money from the poor to the rich. Even if this passes I will probably only have two months to live with it until I go on Medicare. If only that were true for my kids, who are having trouble paying for their health insurance under the current plan.

I am particularly taken by the huge number of references to flexibility on the part of the states - meaning that in States like Wisconsin the government will be given free reign to make life even more miserable for its residents. I would expect that in our state we will see the return of high risk health pools, lifetime caps on insurance benefits, and punishment for pre-existing conditions as part of the plan.

It yet has to be seen whether the Senate can actually pass this bill.  Only 3 Republican Senators will need to have sufficient doubts to vote no.  In Wisconsin Ron Johnson has expressed some doubts, so you could do worse than to call his office and make a strong suggestion about how you would like him to vote. Most likely this will come to a vote before July 1 so time's-a-wastin'.

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June 22, 2017

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