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Healthcare in the News

Healthcare in the News

Healthcare In the News – August Edition

In the past month, we have seen some seriously dramatic news stories about our nation’s health care laws. Usually, dramas of that sort are kept to cable television, but maybe art does imitate life, especially as we watched the news coverage of the US Senate. If you have been living under a rock or just don’t enjoy listening to the news, let us give you a quick fly over.

In May, the House voted to pass the ACHA which had a series of changes to our current Affordable Care Act. The Senate then decided to write their bill however they delayed the voting until they could work out their details within the Republican party. It failed to pass. Then a series of votes continued to try and repeal and possibly replace Obamacare. None of those passed either. The Republican party needed every representative to vote yes, and with some dramatic conversations between party members, the numbers didn’t rally.

When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked about the future of healthcare reform, he stated that they had suffered a setback and that the future was “murky.” This murkiness has started talks with Democrats about single payer healthcare. If you are unclear about what single payer healthcare is, you can read about it on our previous blogs: www.bdhealthinsurance.com/single-payer-healthcare and how it doesn’t work here: www.bdhealthinsurance.com/single-payer-healthcare-cons-part-one and here: www.bdhealthinsurance.com/single-payer-healthcare-cons. Representative John Conyer (D- Mich) has already introduced his single payer bill called Medicare for All. He already has the support of about half of the House Democrats behind his bill. Senator Bernie Sanders says he will propose his bill shortly. It will probably look very similar to the plan he posted on his website last year, and we heard him speak about on the campaign trail. We will have to wait and see how this unfolds in the next few months.

Healthcare in the News

It’s hard to write a blog about healthcare in the news when it’s consistently changing. While I sit here and type out these words, I am watching a Senate “vote-a-rama” as the news media is calling it. It’s a live video stream watching the Senate as they debate and discuss healthcare in America. There are still many questions about what is happening with our health care system.  But here is what we do know.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted to debate the repeal of Obamacare. The Senate was split down the middle, but the deciding vote came from Vice President Mike Pence as he voted in the affirmative to pursue the debate.  This would start the discussion of what legislation the Senate would vote on. Those options being a Repeal and Replace Obamacare option, a Repeal Only option or the Skinny Bill. Almost immediately the Senate voted no on the Repeal and Replace as well as the Repeal only options. Leaving us with the possibility of passing the Skinny Bill.

But what is the Skinny Bill? The Skinny Bill takes away some of the most unpopular aspects of Obamacare. Namely, it would take away the mandates that state that every American have health insurance as well as the mandate that business owners with over 50 employees must provide health benefits for their employees. It would also take away the tax on medical equipment. The idea of this pared down bill is that they can convince more Republicans to vote on this bill and pass it so that they can then bring it to the House where it can be more clearly laid out and shape the health care system. As of today, we have very few definitive answers. But we will be keeping you informed.