Senate GOP floats scaled-down healthcare bill

Keren Carrion

Senate Republicans are considering passing a dramatically scaled-down version of their ObamaCare repeal bill as a way to pass something and set up negotiations with the House, according to GOP aides.

The measure, known as a “skinny bill,” is intended to be something all Republicans can agree on, so they can pass a bill and move to a conference committee with the House.

Aides say the scaled-down bill would likely just repeal ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.

That would be a far narrower measure than the most recent Senate replacement bill, which also scaled down ObamaCare’s subsidies and cut Medicaid.

Experts warn, though, that repealing the individual mandate without any replacement measures would destabilize the insurance market and spike premiums. 

The Congressional Budget Office previously found that repealing the individual mandate would lead to 15 million more uninsured people and increase premiums by around 20 percent.   

A conference committee with the House, however, could potentially change whatever the Senate passes.

{mosads}The consideration of the scaled-down measure is a sign of how much trouble Senate Republicans are having coming to agreement on any more significant bill.

A Senate GOP aide said leadership pitched their office on the scaled-down bill on Monday.

The scaled-down bill is expected to be offered after votes on both a repeal-only measure and the latest replacement bill — which are expected to fail.

Republicans would also need to gather enough votes to start debate, and it is still unclear if they have those votes.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, floated a conference committee with the House on Monday evening.

“I think if you want to get a result that may be a selling point,” Cornyn said.

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