Senate Republicans’ secret healthcare bill has finally come out of the shadows.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) unveiled the 142-page “discussion draft” of the bill to fellow Republican lawmakers on Thursday morning, just before the Senate Budget Committee published it online for America to see.
As expected, the bill in its current form will replace key portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). The changes include large, gradual cuts to Medicaid, the elimination of most taxes put in place by the ACA on wealthy Americans and medical companies, and an end to the so-called “individual mandate” or tax penalties imposed on those who refuse to purchase health insurance.
The bill, dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), also strips federal funding of Planned Parenthood for one year. The plan excludes language included in the House bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), that blocks federal subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortion.
BCRA faces stiff opposition from Democrats as well as some moderate and conservative Republicans. However, the bill was crafted to be budget neutral, which would allow it to pass by a simple majority vote, meaning it needs the support of at least 50 of the 52 Republican senators.
Read the full bill below: