Economist's Insights

Senate Offers Amendments to Original Health Care Proposal

Jul 13, 2017

The Senate leadership released an amended health care bill Thursday with sweeteners for both ends of the Republican party spectrum in hopes to circle more support around the health care reform wagon. To bring back support from some more moderate Republicans, the amended bill added back certain taxes on high-income Americans and provided for an additional $70B of federal funds to states to offset premium costs and $45B to help address opioid addiction. For the most conservative Senators, the bill kept the cuts to Medicaid in the original version and added a provision that would allow insurers to sell non-compliant plans (i.e. catastrophic insurance plans) as long as they also offer plans that do comply with the laws required parameters. Funds socked away in individuals’ HSA accounts would also now be allowed to pay for insurance premiums. Reports are that the CBO hopes to have the bill scored early next week which would potentially allow the Senate to hold a vote by next Friday as Senator McConnell has indicated he hopes to do.