Trending News Today: Legislators Continue to Debate Healthcare Reform Bill

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Under the American Health Care Act (AHCA), Medicaid funding would be significantly altered and the program’s expansion could be threatened. While the House approved the bill, the Senate may not support changes to Medicaid. The New York Times reported that Senate negotiators are now discussing the option of keeping Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but would place spending limits on the program. Additional changes may be made to the bill, including House-approved changes to preexisting condition coverage and tax credits.

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are exploring a “nuclear” approach to repealing the ACA, as they feel the Senate is missing a chance to fully repeal the law, according to Politico. The senators are looking to change a precedent of how much can be overturned during budget reconciliation. Traditionally, a nonpartisan Senate parliamentarian determines if each aspect of the AHCA would impact the budget, however, the Senators are now arguing that Vice President Mike Pence should be able to make that call, according to the article. This would likely result in a significantly more aggressive approach to repeal.

Yesterday, moderate Republican and Democratic senators met to discuss an alternative approach to healthcare reform. Due to criticism over key aspects of the House bill, even moderate Republicans have voiced concerns. The senators said that it is important for Americans to see that they are working together to seek a middle ground healthcare law, according to The New York Times. However, it is unlikely that moderates from both parties would be able to deliver legislation that would become the Senate’s chief bill, the Times reported.