Obamacare repeal bill: 7 key changes proposed for U.S. health care

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WATCH ABOVE: After months of closed door meetings Senate Republicans have revealed their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Seth Lemon reports – Jun 22, 2017

U.S. Senate Republicans unveiled their version of legislation that could replace Obamacare on Thursday, proposing several key changes to former president Barack Obama’s signature health-care law.

While the draft bill has drawn criticism from around the country, and especially from Democrats, U.S. President Donald Trump said he’s happy with the overall proposal.

READ MORE: Senate unveils plan to overhaul Obama’s health care law

“It’s going to be very good,” Trump said during a meeting at the White House Thursday. “A little negotiation, but it’s going to be very good.”

Opponents of the changes protested outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office after the draft bill became public.

“No cuts to Medicaid — save our liberty!” protesters chanted, according to The Washington Post.

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READ MORE: U.S. House Republicans pass Donald Trump’s Health Care bill

WATCH: Trump accuses Dems of being ‘obstructionists,’ claims Obamacare ‘dead’
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Trump accuses Dems of being ‘obstructionists,’ claims Obamacare ‘dead’ – Jun 22, 2017

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the House version of the bill, which was passed in May, would kick 23-million people off their health-care plans. The CBO is expected to weigh in on the Senate draft bill early next week.

Here are some key takeaway points from the controversial legislation:

Medicaid for poor and disabled

The draft bill would phase out Obamacare’s expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled over three years, from 2021 to 2024. Then it would enact deeper cuts in the program beginning in 2025.

READ MORE: Americans with serious illnesses uneasy as Trump moves to repeal Obamacare

It would also allow states to add work requirements for some Medicaid enrollees. The legislation also reshapes subsidies to low-income people for private insurance.

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Taxes on the rich

It would repeal tax increases Obama’s law imposed on higher-income people and medical industry companies to pay for expanded coverage.

And it would end the tax penalty Obama’s statute imposes on people who don’t buy insurance.

Pre-existing conditions

Much like Obamacare, insurers would have to accept all applicants, and charge the same rates. That’s a change from the previous House measure, which suggested that those with pre-existing conditions would not be guaranteed health coverage.

But the state would be given powers to let insurers revoke some guaranteed benefits, such as drug plans and hospital costs, which would limit how much coverage those with pre-existing conditions actually receive.

WATCH: Trump touts the end of the ‘worst job-killing law’ with the repeal of Obamacare

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Trump touts the end of the ‘worst job killing law’ with the repeal of Obamacare – May 5, 2017

Planned Parenthood

The Senate’s proposal would block federal payments to Planned Parenthood.

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Many Republicans have long fought the organization because it provides abortions.

READ MORE: U.S. lawmaker refers to pregnant women as ‘hosts,’ wants fathers to approve abortions

It would also bar the use of the bill’s health-care tax credits to buy coverage that includes abortions.

Medicaid payments for states

Federal payments to the states helped them expand their Medicaid programs for low-income individuals.

Under the draft bill, these additional funds would continue through 2020, and then be gradually reduced until they are entirely eliminated in 2024.

Workplace coverage

The Senate bill would also reduce subsidies now provided to help people without workplace coverage get private health insurance. It would also eliminate the requirement for larger companies to provide health coverage to workers.

-With files from Reuters, The Associated Press

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