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Kathy Castor on latest GOP health care proposal: It’s the same bad bill

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Not surprisingly, U.S. Representative Kathy Castor is giving a thumbs down to the Senate’s revised health care bill.

“Unfortunately, the latest GOP Trumpcare bill is just as terrible as the previous version,” she said in a statement. “The inclusion of the Cruz Amendment would inflict even greater suffering for Americans with pre-existing conditions – on top of an already brutal bill.”

The “Cruz Amendment” proposed by Republican U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee would allow insurers to sell plans that do not meet ObamaCare regulations so long as they also sell a plan that does meet those rules.

The amendment was included in an effort to earn more conservative support, but it could also drive away some moderates who fear the amendment would drive up premiums for those with pre-existing conditions.
The bill also also contains significant new funding for opioid treatment and money for states meant to lower premiums for high-cost enrollees. But it would keep two Affordable Care Act provisions on taxes on the wealthy and maintains significant cuts to Medicaid, meaning 15 million fewer people could insured by the program by 2026.

“Trumpcare fundamentally means higher health costs, loss of health coverage for tens of millions of hard-working Americans, loss of key protections, a crushing age tax, and a loss of care for Alzheimer’s patients, people with disabilities and children – all in order to shift tax benefits to the wealthy,” said Castor. “Republicans should be working with Democrats rather than forcing families to pay higher out-of-pocket health care costs, including deductibles.  Trumpcare would gut Essential Health Benefits, meaning soaring costs for Americans with pre-existing conditions and reinstating the dreaded lifetime and annual limits on care.  Republicans are unwisely wedded to the Age Tax where Americans aged 50-64 will pay premiums five times higher than what others pay for health coverage, no matter how healthy they are.”

Castor says Congress should instead focus on lowering costs and doing everything possible to improve the financial security of families.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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