What We Are Reading: 06/29/2017 Health Edition:

Deep cuts to Medicaid remain the centerpiece of the Republicans’ proposals : WHEN the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act in early May, it was widely thought that the Senate would rewrite it. The House’s bill, among its many reforms, would unwind Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid, health insurance for the poor. That expansion has given health insurance to 12m Americans. Surely moderate Senate Republicans could not tolerate a reversal? Yet the Senate bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), revealed on June 22nd after a secretive drafting process, merely delays the start of the Medicaid cuts by an additional two years, to 2021. In fact, the cuts to the programme would end up being deeper than under the House plan.

GOP health bill: Big tax cuts for rich, not much for others : Millionaires would get tax cuts averaging $52,000 a year from the Senate Republicans’ health bill while middle-income families would get about $260, according to a new analysis of the foundering bill. The analysis was done by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. It found that half of the tax cuts would go to families making more than $500,000 a year.

State health systems and other stakeholders speak out against health care bills : Aurora Health Care, the state’s largest health system, is clear and straightforward: It opposes the House and Senate bills to replace the Affordable Care Act. So, too, do Froedtert Health, Marshfield Clinic Health System and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The same goes for the Wisconsin Hospital Association and Wisconsin Medical Society. LeadingAge Wisconsin, which represents nonprofit organizations that provide nursing home care, assisted living and other services for people who are elderly, also is among the opponents. So are the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association, which represents community health centers, and the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative.

Ron Johnson, other GOP senators force delay of health care vote : Republicans abandoned their hopes for quick passage of a sweeping health care bill in the Senate this week in the face of defections from both moderates and conservatives in the party. Among them: Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, who had lobbied party leaders for days to delay the vote and give lawmakers and their constituents more time to understand and evaluate a far-reaching proposal that cut taxes, reduced Medicaid coverage and dismantled key pieces of Obamacare.


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