Watch: Lt. Gov. Northam and others discuss Senate health care proposal’s impact on Virginia families

Posted at 9:03 AM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 09:03:47-04

NORFOLK, Va. – Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, Senator Lynnwood Lewis and members of the community, met Thursday morning in Norfolk to discuss the U.S. Senate’s health care proposal and its impact on Virginia families.

The 142-page Senate health care bill was unveiled last Thursday.

The bill would repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate, drastically cut back federal support of Medicaid, and eliminate Obamacare’s taxes on the wealthy, insurers and others.

Some 22 million fewer Americans would have health insurance under the Senate legislation, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis released Monday. That includes 15 million fewer people covered under Medicaid, the nation’s safety net program for the poor.

The GOP would also repeal taxes that Obamacare levied on insurers, drug makers and others. All told, this would reduce federal revenue by $700 billion over the next decade. Nearly 45% of that benefit would go to the top 1%, the Tax Policy Center found.

The Senate bill would require insurers to cover those with pre-existing conditions and ban them from basing premiums on consumers’ health history. But it would allow states to waive the federal mandate on what insurers must cover, known as the essential health benefits. This would allow insurers to offer less comprehensive policies, so those with pre-existing conditions may not have all of their treatments covered.

Four conservative Republican senators — Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee — said they opposed the current version. And key votes such as Sens. Dean Heller and Susan Collins have also withheld support.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday that a vote on the bill would be delayed until after the July 4 recess.