The new Senate health care bill — and the return of preexisting conditions — explained

Senate Republicans introduced a revised version of their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, one that would allow insurers to once again deny coverage based on preexisting conditions, and to charge higher rates to sick people. The bill would keep most of the Affordable Care Act’s tax increases but repeal one aimed specifically at medical device manufacturers. It would deeply cut the Medicaid program, making few changes to the bill’s first draft. Even with these new changes, the general structure of the bill stays the same from…

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The Senate GOP’s audacious health care Jedi mind trick

A strange line has trickled out from Senate Republicans in the past few days: We don’t even have a health care plan. Those 145 pages of detailed legislative text? The ones that were rigorously analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office? What are you talking about? It’s a Jedi mind trick for the ages. Vox’s Sarah Kliff wrote last month about the remarkable lengths Republicans have gone to to mislead and obfuscate about their health care plans. It was no accident that Senate leadership decided to draft its bill entirely out of public view. But denying the existence of a…

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Improved Vaccination Rates Would Fall Victim to Senate Health Cuts

Passage of the Senate’s health care bill, as proposed, would risk eroding national health in one little-discussed way, according to medical experts: It would eliminate cash that pays for vaccines to protect the most vulnerable among us from diseases like mumps, measles or the flu. Former Pres. Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) currently requires new health insurance plans to cover federally recommended vaccines for adults and children, without making patients share the costs through co-pays or deductibles—a “first dollar” coverage mandate meant to help Americans overcome the financial obstacle…

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2 winners and 4 losers from the Senate health care bill

Mark Wilson/Getty Images The Better Care Reconciliation Act, Senate Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, would if passed lead to one of the largest redistributions of income in American history, just as Obamacare itself did. It would shift hundreds of billions of dollars from health care programs to fund sweeping tax cuts for rich Americans, radically overhaul the way the US supports elderly and disabled people, and allow states to substantially weaken insurance regulations. While it clearly does not yet have the votes it needs to pass the Senate,…

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These are the new factions of the Senate health care debate

This is the web version of VoxCare, a daily newsletter from Vox on the latest twists and turns in America’s health care debate. Like what you’re reading? Sign up to get VoxCare in your inbox here.   Senate Republicans sound a little more upbeat about the prospects for Obamacare repeal. They reviewed their policy options at a conference lunch today, and while they still aren’t ready to make tough policy choices, there was a notable shift from the pessimism Sarah wrote about last week. “We’re getting closer to having a…

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Roy Cooper and NC Senate leader tangle over taxes and education spending

RALEIGH Gov. Roy Cooper and Senate leader Phil Berger opened the legislative session with a disagreement over education spending and taxes. Cooper was the guest Wednesday morning at the annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast sponsored by the Public School Forum of North Carolina. Public School Forum President and CEO Keith Poston interviewed Cooper before a live audience for the forum’s television show Education Matters. “Clearly we have to invest more in education, and that’s going to be at the top of my list as I prepare my budget,” Cooper said…

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U-Va. education dean: Betsy DeVos’s Senate hearing performance was ‘disqualifying’

  Robert C. Pianta is dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. I am disappointed to have to say that Betsy DeVos should not be the next Secretary of Education. As an academic, dean of a school of education, and educator who has advocated for good charter schools, who can see the value of empowering parents through school choice and the promise of vouchers to enable that empowerment, and who believes our education system is still deeply in need of reform, I had initially approached…

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Senate Delays Vote on Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos For Financial Disclosure Review

The confirmation hearing for Donald Trump’s billionaire Education Secretary pick, Betsy DeVos, on Tuesday was frankly outrageous, the most eye-catching item being DeVos’s assertion that states should be more open to allowing guns into schools for protecting students against grizzly bear attacks. Now the vote on whether or not to confirm DeVos has been delayed, though not because of bears. On Friday, Republican Senator and chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Lamar Alexander, pushed back the date of Devos’s confirmation vote by a week to…

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Senate Democrats Give Up On Coal Miner Health Benefits, Averting Government Shutdown (UPDATE)

Coal-state Senate Democrats on Friday backed off their threat to shut down the government over health benefits for retired coal miners after an impasse with Republicans. The Senate voted Friday night to fund the government until April 28 ― averting a shutdown less than an hour before the deadline. The funding bill, which passed 63-36, will now be sent to President Barack Obama. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who led the push for a one-year extension of health care benefits for miners, railed against House members Friday evening for leaving town without committing to…

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