Overnight Healthcare: Senate GOP outlines revised health bill | Bill to be released Thursday | Study finds Cruz change could raise premiums for 1.5M

Overnight Healthcare: Senate GOP outlines revised health bill | Bill to be released Thursday | Study finds Cruz change could raise premiums for 1.5M
© Greg Nash

Republican leaders on Tuesday outlined a revised ObamaCare replacement bill that will be unveiled on Thursday ahead of a planned vote next week.

The revisions are aimed at winning over additional support, but it remains deeply in doubt whether the bill can get 50 votes.


Importantly, senators said the Medicaid sections of the bill would remain largely unchanged from the initial draft, a blow to moderates who had pushed for easing cuts to Medicaid. That means a new cap on Medicaid spending will still take effect after 2025, leading to deeper cuts opposed by moderates. And funds for ObamaCare's expansion of Medicaid will still end in 2024.

A change from the initial draft, though, is that senators said they expect two ObamaCare taxes on the wealthy will not be repealed, providing additional revenue for the bill. Those taxes are a 3.8 percent tax on investment income and a 0.9 percent payroll tax.

Read more here.


Study: Cruz measure could raise premiums for 1.5M with pre-existing conditions

One and a half million people with pre-existing conditions could face higher premiums under an amendment to the Senate's healthcare bill being pushed by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz, Seth Rogen trade insults as Twitter spat flares Biden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Ethics complaint filed against Biggs, Cawthorn and Gosar over Capitol riot MORE (R-Texas), according to a new analysis released Tuesday.

The proposed amendment, which is being considered by GOP leadership, would essentially let insurers sell plans that don't meet Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements as long as they also sell plans that do.

Cruz says giving insurers a path around the regulations should allow them to offer some plans at a lower cost.

An analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation says that premiums for those ObamaCare-compliant plans would "skyrocket," impacting about 1.5 million people with pre-existing conditions who will also become ineligible for subsidies under the bill. 

Read more here.


Senate GOP to release revised ObamaCare repeal bill Thursday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden attends first church service as president in DC, stops at local bagel shop Harry Reid 'not particularly optimistic' Biden will push to eliminate filibuster Senators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-Ky.) said Republicans will unveil a new draft of a healthcare reform bill on Thursday.

"We'll be laying out ... the text of that on Thursday morning," McConnell told reporters following a meeting of his conference.

He added they hoped to get a score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) early next week.

Read more here.


And senators get more time...

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday that the Senate will delay the August recess as senators scramble to catch up with a GOP agenda that is months behind schedule.

With the change, the Senate will now work the first two weeks in August, with the break starting on Aug. 14.

The decision by McConnell could give the Senate more time to work on its legislation repealing and replacing ObamaCare. McConnell hopes to have a vote next week, but it does not appear he has the votes necessary to win approval.

Read more here


Graham working on own healthcare plan

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial Democrats formally elect Harrison as new DNC chair MORE (R-S.C.) is working on his own healthcare plan, his office confirmed Tuesday.

Kevin Bishop, a spokesman for Graham, said the plan would take the form of an amendment to the current GOP repeal-and-replace bill. He did not say whether it would essentially be a substitute for the current bill, which does not appear to have the support needed to pass the Senate.

Bishop said Graham hopes the plan could attract Democratic support.

Read more here.


AARP ads target five GOP senators on healthcare bill

The AARP is targeting five key Republicans senators in the healthcare debate with new radio and TV ads in their home states.

The ads warn that seniors will pay "even more on premiums ... more for prescriptions ... and your family's coverage could be taken away" if the Senate GOP's healthcare bill passes.

The ads will run in the states of GOP Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial Trump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 Murkowski didn't vote for Trump, won't join Democrats MORE (Alaska), Cory GardnerCory GardnerOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs denounce Capitol attack | Contractors halt donations after siege | 'QAnon Shaman' at Capitol is Navy vet Lobbying world Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (Colo.) Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (Nev.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE (Ohio) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden's crisis agenda hits headwinds Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief McConnell about to school Trump on political power for the last time MORE (W.Va.)

Read more here.


What we're reading 

Analysis of McConnell's claim that Senate GOP health bill would not 'cause anyone currently on Medicaid to come off of it' (The Washington Post)

Foes of Obama-era rule work to undo birth control mandate (The New York Times)

FDA reverses course on drug developed by CEO with ties to Trump (Stat News)


State by state

Illinois advocates worry GOP's health bill would cut Medicaid for low-income children (Chicago Tribune)

Utah seeks to cap costs, sign-ups in limited Medicaid plan (U.S. News & World Report)

CMS approves Alaska health insurance exchange stabilization plan (Reuters)


ICYMI from The Hill

GOP senator 'impressed' by Trump's knowledge of healthcare details

Dem: We're not going to 'dismantle' the healthcare system


Send tips and comments to Jessie Hellmann, jhellmann@thehill.com; Peter Sullivan, psullivan@thehill.com; Rachel Roubein, rroubein@thehill.com; and Nathaniel Weixel, nweixel@thehill.com.