RSC Issues Warning to Senate GOP Over Changes to Healthcare Bill

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Jun 20, 2017 8:32 AM
RSC Issues Warning to Senate GOP Over Changes to Healthcare Bill

The Republican Study Committee drafted a warning letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell raising “serious concerns” over changes to the healthcare bill, which the conservative bloc argued “may jeopardize final passage in the House.”

“As the Senate continues its deliberative process, we urge you to carefully evaluate the American Health Care Act and consider the important role these specific policies played in building consensus in the House,” the letter states.

The caucus says four elements are critical to keep in the healthcare legislation. They are:

1. Ending the extra federal funds for Medicaid expansion by 2020. The Senate is proposing a more gradual phase-out of this money. Leadership has proposed a three-year transition, beginning in 2020. More moderate senators are pushing for a longer, seven-year phase-out.

2. Keeping a waiver that lets states opt out of ObamaCare insurance regulations. The Senate might do away with a provision in the House bill that would allow states to let insurers charge consumers more based on their health status.

3. Repealing ObamaCare’s taxes “in the most expeditious manner possible.” The Senate is eying keeping some taxes around for longer.

4. Defunding Planned Parenthood for one year and preventing tax credits from going to plans that cover abortion. At least two senators have expressed concerns over defunding Planned Parenthood, and the Senate parliamentarian has warned the tax credit measure may run afoul of reconciliation rules.

The letter has not been sent yet, but a draft was seen by multiple news outlets. Non-RSC member still have the option to sign onto the letter if they wish.