World Economy

Proposed Health-Care Bill May Hurt US Economy

Protesters gathered in the Capitol Hill hallway while during a Senate committee hearing on healthcare.Protesters gathered in the Capitol Hill hallway while during a Senate committee hearing on healthcare.

A report from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings suggested that the latest proposed health-care bill could hurt the US economy, states, and health insurers.

The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill, if implemented, could lead to $240 billion in lost economic activity by 2027 and impact 580,000 jobs, the report indicated, CNBC reported.

It would take federal money spent on the medicaid program for the poor and disabled, as well as subsidies to help individuals buy private insurance, and deliver it to the states in block grants.

The ratings agency also added that the GCHJ bill could cause greater disparity among states in terms of rules for the insurance markets and uninsured levels.

The GCHJ bill, which is awaiting a senate vote on Monday, could lead to 21 million fewer Americans having health insurance.

Meanwhile, DW reported that the latest bid to repeal Obamacare has flat lined after Republican Senator Susan Collins announced she would vote against it. The moderate senator says she faced intense lobbying, including a phone call from Donald Trump.

With her rejection on Monday, Collins became the third Republican lawmaker to break party rank on the bill to reform the health care law enacted under former president Barack Obama. Previously, John McCain and Rand Paul voiced their opposition to the bill, neutralizing the Republicans’ two-seat majority in the 100-seat Senate.

Experts estimate that the bill would cut around $1 trillion in funding for Medicaid by 2026, crippling the US government mechanism aimed to help the poorest patients. Tens of millions would lose insurance.

“This would have a devastating impact,” Collins said. “To take a program that has been law for more than 50 years, and make those kinds of fundamental structural changes ... and to do so without having in-depth hearings to evaluate the impact on our most vulnerable citizens was unacceptable to me.”

Collins also said that the bill, proposed by Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, was “deeply flawed” and would weaken protection for people with preexisting health conditions. Such protections are a key feature of the 2010 health care bill known as Obamacare.

Republican lawmakers have repeatedly pledged to repeal the Democrat-backed system.

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