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Senate introduces new health care bill

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] introduced new proposed legislation [materials] Thursday to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill will allow insurance companies already providing policies under the ACA to offer cheaper plans with limited coverage options and contains provisions for providing states with funding for treating opiod addiction. The bill also requires [Reuters reports] providers to give their customers maternity and newborn care, mental health services, perscription drug coverage, and hospitalization and emergency room coverage. The large cuts to the Medicaid program [official website] contained in Senator Mitch McConnell's [official website] previous version of the bill [JURIST report] have been carried over, leading some to believe that as many as 15 million people [CNN report] will lose Medicaid coverage by 2026. The bill has already been met with opposition from members of the Republican party, leading commentators to believe the bill is likely to fail.

Repealing the ACA has been a significant priority for President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers. In May the US House of Representatives voted 217-213 to repeal portions of the ACA and replace them [JURIST report]. Also in May more than a dozen Democratic attorneys general filed a motion to intervene [JURIST report] in a lawsuit that threatens key parts of the ACA. In March an earlier version of the proposed American Health Care Act was withdrawn from consideration [JURIST report] after failing to get enough support to pass. Earlier that month, Republican lawmakers released two amendments [JURIST report] to the AHCA in an effort to appeal to both conservative and liberal critics. Senators proposed [JURIST report] the initial ACA replacement bill at the end of January. This came after Trump signed an executive order [JURIST report] aimed at repealing the ACA, shortly after being sworn in. The Senate had prepared for the repealing of the ACA earlier that month when it voted 51-48 [JURIST report] to prevent the process from being subject to a filibuster.

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