By Bankole Wright
Senate Republicans are finally set to unveil the healthcare bill. After weeks of shrouding the bill in secrecy, the draft of the healthcare bill aimed at repealing the Affordable Health Care Act will be unveiled Thursday as the Senators still struggle over the basic issues such as the future of the Medicaid program for the poor and cutting insurance costs.
The meetings behind closed doors were criticised by moderate and conservative Republicans as well as Democrats who staged a protest on the Senate floor, Monday. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer attacked saying “Republicans are writing their healthcare bill under the cover of darkness because they are ashamed of it”.
The House of Representatives narrowly approved its version of repeal last month. The Obama care repeal and replace mantra was one which President Trump and his team chanted throughout the 2016 election campaign, making it a major campaign promise Americans await the fulfilment of.
Under the House plan, an estimated 23 million people could lose their health care coverage, although the Senate claim their bill would be different from the House version, they are yet to reveal in which ways exactly.
One member of the core group of 13 Republicans who have been working hard on the legislation, Ted Cruz told reporters the bill did not do enough to lower health insurance premiums. “If it is going to pass, the bill is going to have to make meaningful steps to reduce premiums,” he said.
Republican leaders will need the support of at least 50 of the chamber’s 52 Republicans to ensure passage of the bill this time.