Audit shows GOP Senate health care bill would leave 22M more uninsured

A patient room at St. David's South Austin Medical Center (KXAN Photo)
A patient room at St. David's South Austin Medical Center (KXAN Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate health care bill would result in 22 million more uninsured Americans over the next decade compared to current law.

That’s according to an analysis Monday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The figure may further complicate Senate GOP leaders’ plans to pass their bill this week. It’s barely an improvement upon the health care bill that passed the House — which would have resulted in 23 million more uninsured.

Several GOP senators have said they want to see their bill cover more people than the House version. And President Donald Trump himself called the House bill “mean” — though he’s lent his support to the Senate version and is lobbying for passage.

The nation’s largest doctors’ group is outlining its opposition to the Senate Republican health care bill.

The American Medical Association sent a letter Monday to Senate leaders saying the draft legislation violates the medical oath to “first, do no harm.”

The letter says the Republican plan is likely to lead to higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care for low- and middle-income patients.

The doctors’ group says the Senate bill’s Medicaid payment formulas threaten to “limit states’ ability to address the health care needs of their most vulnerable citizens” and won’t keep up with new medical innovations and epidemics such as the opioid addiction crisis.

The letter is signed by Dr. James L. Madara, the group’s CEO. The AMA has about a quarter-million members.

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