GOP to unveil AHCA draft Thursday: 7 things to know

A draft of the Senate GOP's healthcare bill will be unveiled Thursday after weeks of work on the legislation, reports Reuters.

Here are seven things to know about the bill and the GOP's efforts to repeal and replace the ACA.

1. A working group of Senate GOP members began drafting their healthcare bill after the House narrowly passed the American Health Care Act May 4.

2. Issues such as Medicaid funding and lowering insurance premiums have been some of the topics of discussion among moderate and conservative lawmakers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate healthcare bill would differ from the House-approved AHCA, although no specific details were provided, reports Reuters.

3. President Donald Trump, who has vowed to repeal and replace the ACA, called for the Senate healthcare bill to be more "generous" than the House-approved AHCA, reports Reuters. Earlier this month, the president allegedly called the House-approved AHCA "mean."

4. The House-approved AHCA proposed keeping Medicaid expansion in effect through Jan. 1, 2020. However, some moderate Republican senators said they are advocating to slowly decrease federal payments to states that expanded Medicaid over a seven-year period, reports The New York Times. Mr. McConnell has recommended a three-year phase out, according to the report.

5. Mr. McConnell said a "discussion draft" of the Senate healthcare bill will be revealed Thursday and go to the chamber floor next week, after the Congressional Budget Office provides acost estimate and analysis, according to The Hill. The CBO's score of the House-approved AHCA estimated the bill would decrease the federal deficit by $119 billion from 2017 to 2026, but create up to 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026.

 6. Democrats have spoken out against the GOP's meetings on the bill because they have taken place behind closed doors, according to Reuters. "Republicans are writing their healthcare bill under the cover of darkness because they are ashamed of it," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in the report.

7. Assuming no Democrats vote for the healthcare bill, at least 50 out of 52 Senate Republicans must vote "yes" for the bill to pass, according to Reuters.


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