After weeks of cloak-and-dagger discussions, the Senate Republican health care bill could come up for a vote as early as Thursday.
The new legislation would not upend Obamacare as abruptly as the the bill the House passed in May, but both call for significant cuts. On Monday, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that if the Senate bill becomes law, 22 million more Americans would be uninsured by 2026 than if Obamacare remained in place.
Here is a breakdown of how the Senate legislation stacks up to the House version — the American Health Care Act — and how both compare to Obamacare.
Note: This will be updated as we make our way through the text of the bill and CBO report.
The CBO said in its hotly anticipated report Monday that passage of the Senate bill would likely increase the ranks of the uninsured by 22 million over the next 10 years. The House bill would do about the same, with an estimated 23 million fewer Americans covered than under Obamacare.
Obamacare greatly expanded Medicaid and mostly paid for it, allowing states that accepted the funding to provide coverage to millions of low-income Americans who couldn’t afford it before.
The Senate bill would continue Medicaid expansion under Obamacare for three years, then begin to roll it back in 2021.
The overall program would also change. States would eventually receive a fixed amount — unlike the current open-ended funding requirement — in the form of a block grant or a figure based on the number of enrollees. In the Senate bill, that dollar amount would grow more slowly because, beginning in 2025, it would become tied to inflation, a less generous index than medical costs.
Obamacare guarantees coverage even for people with pre-existing conditions and bans insurers from charging people based on their health. The House bill would allow states to opt out of the latter provision. The Senate bill does not, but — as explained below — insurers could provide skimpier coverage in states that get waivers for essential health benefits.