As discussed in my blog yesterday, Republican Senators will be introducing a newly revised health care bill today. According to reports from multiple media sources, the bill will include cuts to Medicaid, expansion of the use of health savings accounts and tax credits, and additional funding for states to fight the rising opioid addiction epidemic. Additional funding is also expected to be included beyond the $62 billion currently allocated to states to help low-income individuals afford health care coverage. It is also expected to retain the 3.8% investment tax and the 0.9% Medicare surtax on upper-income earners (see details in yesterday’s blog post.) It is also expected to include the amendment proposed by conservative Republican Senators Ted Cruz (R. TX) and Mike Lee (R. UT) that will allow health insurance companies to offer less costly health care plans that do not include all of the essential benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as long as they offer at least one policy that includes all of the essential benefits. (As a reminder the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed in the House has a similar provision but in its version, the states have the ability to change the definition of essential benefits to allow insurers to offer various types of policies.)
Stay tuned for more details once the bill is released. For more information on this topic, contact your Health Care or Labor & Employment counsel Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.