Health Care Overhaul

Update at 4:05 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain, diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer just five days ago, returned to applause on the Senate floor Tuesday, where he cast a crucial vote to move forward on repeal of the Affordable Care Act and urged his colleagues to regain their sense of bipartisan cooperation.

However, the longtime Arizona senator, two-time presidential candidate and perhaps America's most famous former prisoner of war, warned that he "will not vote for this bill as it is today," describing it as "a shell."

The Senate Health Care Vote, Simplified

Jul 24, 2017

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to advance health care legislation to the Senate floor. That would open up debate on an Obamacare repeal and/or replacement plan.

The importance of the vote was highlighted by Sen. John McCain's decision to return to Washington to take part. He announced last week that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

Ron Sachs / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner testifies in a closed-door session with the Senate Intelligence Committee. No reporters were allowed, but in a prepared statement, Kushner asserted that he has not colluded with Russians. We discuss today's events and his planned appearance tomorrow with House Intelligence Committee another closed-door session. At least one observer opines that Kushner managed to throw Donald Trump Jr. under the bus in his prepared remarks.

President Trump says he wants to let the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, fail. He’s repeated the threat over and over in news conferences and on Twitter.

But NPR’s Alison Kodjak (@alikodjakNPR) reports that the health care law isn’t collapsing on its own: The president and his team are actively undermining the Affordable Care Act markets.

When Taylor Merendo moved to Bloomington, Ind., nearly two years ago, fleeing an abusive marriage, she needed help.

"I was six months pregnant and at that point in time, I really didn't have a stable place to live," Merendo says.

The Republican scramble to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has yielded yet another version of a health care overhaul bill, along with yet another score from the Congressional Budget Office — the second analysis from the nonpartisan agency in two days.

At a lunch on Wednesday, President Trump tried to persuade some reluctant senators to endorse repealing the Affordable Care Act.

President Trump did not do much to sell the Senate health care bill before its failure. But he gave the sale a shot Wednesday in the White House before cameras and a captive audience of nearly all the Republican senators. His comments were at times confusing, and in some cases, outright incorrect.

It shows the challenge for a president who doesn't dive deeply into policy to sell his agenda.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” the Senate fumbles on health care, but President Trump tries to recover. Will a lunchtime meeting put a bill back in play? Our panel looks at the latest iteration of the attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare and what it means for those of us who rely on medical insurance. Our panel voted to draft Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, already lauded for his bipartisanship by the New York Times, to lead the way forward.

President Trump has summoned all Senate Republicans to the White House on Wednesday for a debrief on the state of health care legislation effort in their chamber. Based on the week so far, the meeting may be more like a post mortem.

Blindsided by the latest collapse of a Republican health care bill, President Trump took to Twitter to voice his frustration. Trump complained of being "let down" by a handful of Republican lawmakers. And he insisted that the fight over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is not over.

Updated at 2:54 p.m. ET

After the Senate's attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act collapsed Monday, Republican leaders immediately began talking about repealing the health care law in hopes of coming up with a replacement later.

But by midafternoon Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to hold a vote on a repeal-only bill had faltered, too.

Updated at 2:00 p.m. ET

One of the senators who stuck the knife into the Senate's latest plan to replace the Affordable Care Act was one Republicans hadn't been worried about.

On Monday night, Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Sen. Mike Lee, a fellow Republican from Utah, announced their opposition to the measure on Twitter, effectively killing Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which had been the GOP plan to replace the ACA.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

The defeat of the GOP Senate health care bill is a major blow to all Republicans involved.

President Trump, whose approval rating is lower than any recent president this early in his term, is now staring at an agenda imperiled. Despite his boasts, he has achieved little of significance through Congress. That failure is compounded by the fact that his party controls both chambers.

The Senate will postpone its consideration of the GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until Sen. John McCain returns to Washington.

The Republican senator from Arizona is recovering from brain surgery performed Friday to remove a nearly 2-inch blood clot from above his left eye. The surgery was described as a "minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision."

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to start today with the issue that affects millions of Americans from all walks of life, has an enormous impact on the economy and has bedeviled our political leadership for years. That issue is health care.

Two former directors of Medicaid — one who served under a Democrat, the other under a Republican — are asking Congress not to change Medicaid right now.

Updated 6:56 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans on Thursday released a revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

The next few days will be critical for Senate Republicans' effort to repeal and replace key parts of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will release a new version of the bill Thursday, and aims to hold a key vote on it early next week.

If that process fails, McConnell has floated the idea of working with Democrats on a bipartisan measure. "No action is not an alternative," he said in Kentucky during the July 4th recess. "We've got the insurance markets imploding all over the country."

Some small-business owners burdened with high health care costs would get a break via an obscure provision in the health bill proposed by the GOP Senate. The provision would offer less regulation, more bargaining power and better prices.

But those benefits could come at a cost to others.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., plans to release an updated Republican health care bill on Thursday and is delaying the body's annual August recess by two weeks in an effort to generate momentum for the beleaguered legislation.

Is Medicaid the best health care possible?

A lot of people who use it seem to think so.

A new study released by Harvard's Chan School of Public Health shows that people enrolled in Medicaid are overwhelmingly satisfied with their coverage and care.

Americans really, really don't like the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

It was about a year ago that Ornella Mouketou walked into the emergency room at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and told them she wanted to end her life.

She was in her early 20s, unemployed and depressed.

"I was just walking around endlessly. I was walking around parks, and I was just crying all the time," she says. "It was like an empty black hole."

A little-discussed provision in the Senate health care bill is designed to boost the number of hospital beds for psychiatric care, providing a long-sought victory for mental health advocates.

The provision would amend an obscure rule regarding Medicaid funding — a rule that has sharply limited the number of beds for those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses.

Yet leading advocacy groups on mental health issues say they see no reason to celebrate.

Montana was one of the last states to expand Medicaid, and its Obamacare marketplace is doing pretty well. It has 50,000 customers, decent competition and no places that have come to be called "bare counties" — where no insurers want to sell plans.

Still, the three insurers selling in Montana now say that if GOP plans to cut Medicaid and repeal the individual mandate go through, it will mean higher costs all around.

When senators come back to Washington on Monday, a handful of Republicans will help decide the fate of legislation that could reshape health care in America.

One of them is Nevada Republican Dean Heller.

Sen. Heller is one of a small bunch of Republicans who have said they will not support the latest draft proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Republican leadership can only lose the support of two of its own senators and still pass such a bill.

This week, as senators have decamped from Washington for the Fourth of July recess, the future of the Senate's Affordable Care Act replacement plan — and by extension, Medicaid — remains uncertain.

Q&A On GOP Health Care Bill

Jul 7, 2017
NPR

This week, Republicans in Congress will try to rally votes behind a bill that proposes major changes to the way Americans get health care and how much they pay. In Georgia, millions could be affected.

Use this Q&A to explore how the bill would affect you.

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