What is in the Senate health care plan? Lower taxes, cuts to Medicaid, Planned Parenthood and more
At 11 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, the Senate will release its long-awaited health care plan. But the Washington Post obtained a draft version of the bill before its release. Here's what the Senate plan would do:
• Repeal all taxes instituted by the Affordable Care Act, particularly on the wealthy
• Reduce Medicaid funding in the long term
• Continue to provide subsidies to help people purchase insurance
• Eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood
• End the requirement that all Americans have health insurance
• No longer require companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance
Much of that is similar to the House bill, though there are notable differences. The Senate version, championed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), would cut Medicaid more slowly than the House version, but the cuts to the program for low-income people would be more dramatic. It provides subsidies to people based on income, not age. The Senate bill would not cut taxpayer funding of abortions.
Both the Senate and House bills face stiff resistance from Democrats. In the Senate, the opposition is exploring how to delay any vote on the bill before the July 4 recess. Democrats could introduce an unlimited number of amendments to the health care bill, all of which would require an up-or-down vote, to stall the Senate legislation.
But Democrats may not have to go that far. Several Republicans are already suggesting they will not support the Senate bill. Several have said the timeline is too short (McConnell wants to vote on the bill next week) while others complain the bill does too little or too much. Conservatives like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are concerned the bill does not go far enough to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act. But Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), who is more moderate, said she’s displeased with the Medicaid cuts and lack of funding to fight the opioid crisis.
As for the timeline, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Talking Points Memo a Congressional Office Budget score of the bill will likely come Monday, but told reporters "we're hopeful it would be as early as Friday." Republicans plan to vote next week, before the Senate moves to recess for a week on June 30.
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What we're watching
Today: The Senate health care bill is about to drop.
Even more: Democrats struggle with the loss in Georgia’s 6th.
Yes, more: The president promises solar panels and attacks the media.
Trump's agenda today: Meeting with the International Olympic Committee. Hosting the congressional picnic. Participating in an emerging technology event.
Two mornings removed from their loss in the Georgia special election, Democrats in Washington are questioning their message after Jon Ossoff's defeat. A small group in the party suggested Ossoff's loss meant House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi should step down, worried her continued leadership will be toxic for Democrats in 2018. Others said the party needed to develop a strong economic message that will resonate with voters.
The need for a fresh and persuasive message is clear: A surge in GOP turnout put Karen Handel over the top in the race against Ossoff, an irony given large and costly get-out-the-vote efforts from the Democrats. Handel’s support consolidated in the final week and Ossoff's final pitch did not stem the tide.
The president in Iowa: Don't trust the media
During a campaign-style rally in Iowa Wednesday night, President Donald Trump told supporters that his border wall will be covered in solar panels and immigrants will be banned from receiving welfare for five years. The latter, which drew a standing ovation, is already law.
The president also mocked media organizations, notably CNN and MSNBC, while praising Fox News.
News and insight you cannot miss:
• Dan Scavino, assistant to the president and Trump's social media guru, may have (again) broken a law that requires government employees to not engage in political activity.
• Behind closed doors, the heads of the U.S. intelligence community reportedly said Trump asked them to publicly refute that there was any collusion between the president and Russia.
• The Trump administration is seeking a "de-emphasis" on climate change.
• Months before he joined the White House, the FBI fired Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka for anti-Muslim rhetoric.
• The Congressional Black Caucus does not want to meet with Trump.
June 22, 2017, 10:55 a.m.: This story has been updated.