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GOP Senator’s Bill Competes with House’s AHCA

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Now that the House has passed the GOP-written American Health Care Act, eyes are now on the Senate. The problem is, Republicans will need to stick together for passage. That will be hard since Maine’s Sen. Susan Collins is working on her own bill. She thinks the new AHCA fails to protect people with pre-existing conditions.

“So much discretion is given to the states [in the House bill] without any guard rails,” she said on This Week. “The difference between that approach and the bill [Louisiana Senator Bill] Cassidy and I have introduced is we keep the ACA safeguards, the consumer protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It’s true that under the House bill that a state that gets a waiver would still have to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, but that coverage might well be unaffordable.”

The American Heath Care Act, narrowly passed Thursday by the House, allows waivers for states which would allow insurers to charge higher premiums for patients with pre-existing conditions. To off-set harm, there’s a $138 billion fund to help out such high-risk patients. The debate is over whether this is enough. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who appeared on This Week before Collins, said it does.

There isn’t enough room for dissent among GOP ranks. When it came to House vote on the AHCA, Dems stood united against it because it changed too much about the Affordable Care Care. Meanwhile, 20 Republicans voted “No” as well.

The Senate GOP only commands a 52 majority to the Democratic caucus’ 48.

Opponents of the status quo say a complete overhaul is needed, as insurance companies have been pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges, and therefore hurting patients.

[Screengrab via ABC]

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