The Senate Republicans have finally released a draft of the revised version of "Trumpcare." It's now officially called as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The new version of Trumpcare aims to roll back much of the “Obamacare” also known as the Affordable Care Act.
The new Trumpcare introduced a custom tax provision. The new draft also includes scaling back on funding health coverages for low-income Americans and it would also introduce new tax cuts for middle-income Americans that purchase their own insurance.
The new Trumpcare draft also aims to stabilize the insurance markets. Republicans believe that the current insurance market is being disrupted because of Obamacare. The new draft also tries to funnel money to other programs in an effort to cut funding for providers that offer abortion services.
Even though it took a while for the new version of Trumpcare to materialize, it is still facing major hurdles within the Senate. For example, the conservatives think that the new draft is not "bold" enough in terms of burying the Obamacare. For moderates, there is a big concern when it comes to the slashing of funding that goes to Medicaid. Critics are saying that it will still require significant changes before it can get the votes.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, may be pushing a vote around the end of next week. One of the reasons why the vote was scheduled for such a date is due to the upcoming July 4 celebration, which means that the bill may be less visible to the public while it goes through the voting process.
Below are a few highlights of what is inside the new bill:
The new bill made changes when it comes to the tax credits. However, the new bill still stands on a framework that disseminates tax credits based on the income level rather than age, a feature that was brought by the Obamacare. However, the Republicans are re-arranging the inner frameworks of the new bill so the tax credits are more generous to older Americans.
Obamacare introduced the idea of Medicaid Expansion. The Republicans want to eliminate it but they have to do it in a way that they would still get votes from the Democrats. Hence, the new bill states that the federal government will still fund (most of it) the Medicaid expansion until 2020. After then, the funding will decrease by 5% each year until it is eliminated by 2023.
Medicaid Spending Growth
The new bill still carries the old rules for the Federal Medicaid spending that goes toward the states. At present, the Federal Medicaid spending for each state is dictated by the Consumer Price Index for medical care. However, starting 2025, the Federal Medicaid spending will be dictated by the Consumer Price Index for all goods, which features lower levels of growth compared to the CPI for medical care.
There are a lot of other changes that are introduced by the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. The ones mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg. As of the moment, critics are saying that it will still need a number of revisions before it can get the votes.