OPM releases analysis of how Republican healthcare bill affects - WFSB 3 Connecticut

OPM releases analysis of how Republican healthcare bill affects Connecticut

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(WFSB file) (WFSB file)

Opposition within the Republican party is growing against its own healthcare bill.

According to lawmakers, the resistance is coming after the non-partisan Congressional budget office released its latest report painting a bleak picture of the impact of the bill.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy had some harsh words for the bill. Tuesday, he outlined how it would affect Connecticut.

“The Senate Republican version of Trumpcare is a greater disaster for the people of Connecticut than the version passed by House Republicans," Malloy said. "It is appalling and needs to be stopped in its tracks. This bill has the potential to result in a devastating cost shift of nearly $3 billion to Connecticut and could eliminate access to health care for tens-of-thousands of our residents, needlessly putting their lives at risk."

Malloy said for some of of the state's most vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, premiums and costs will increase, making coverage unaffordable.

"If enacted, Trumpcare will jeopardize the coverage people already have, drive up costs, and severely limit care," he said. "I urge the Senate to reject this disastrous bill.”

Here's an analysis from the Office of Policy and Management, which said the proposal threatens coverage for seniors and low-income families, among others:

  • The anticipated funding reduction by 2026 in the proposed bill is equivalent to 80,000 to 230,000 fewer Connecticut residents being served under Medicaid.
  • The elimination of the individual and employer mandate are anticipated to increase premiums by an estimated 10 to 15 percent.
  • The repeal of the Cost Sharing Reduction Program has the potential to increase premiums by an additional 20 percent.
  • Changes to eligibility for premium subsidies could impact nearly 6,500 current Access Health CT enrollees who will no longer qualify.

Senate Republicans are scrambling because three of their senators are threatening to vote "no." They can only afford two of them to vote it down in order for it to pass.

Democrats joined demonstrators on Capitol Hill on Monday to protest the bill following the release of the budget office's findings.

"This should be end of the road for Trumpcare," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrat, New York. "Republicans would be wise to read it as a giant stop sign urging them to turn back from this path."

The office estimated that 22 million people would lose coverage over the next 10 years.

"I won't vote to proceed to it unless the bill changes," said Sen. Rand Paul, Republican, Kentucky.

The news could lead to some behind-the-scenes deal-making to secure the measure's passage. However, that's not sitting well with some Republican leaders.

"The best way to lose me on this bill is to start buying people off," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican, South Carolina. So that's what I'm really suspicious of." 

A vote on the latest version of the bill won't come until next week.

However, some Republicans said it would be too soon.

"Make no mistake, people will needlessly die under this plan," Malloy said. "It should come as no surprise that Republicans preferred to hash out the details of this bill behind closed doors."

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal called the healthcare bill "inhumane" and "cruel."

“This analysis adds a fiscal impact to the real life stories of thousands of Connecticut individuals who packed public hearings, flooded phone lines and protested in the streets against this reprehensible plan,” Blumenthal said. “Make no mistake, this is a wealth care plan, not a healthcare plan – a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans paid for with the lives and livelihoods of everyone else.  I will be doing everything in my power to ensure defeat of this grotesquely cruel and costly plan.”

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