Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.
Va.) announced Tuesday that he would block a version of the Republican health care legislation that would give insurance companies more money to cover low-income people with preexisting conditions.
Manchin said the bill would result in a “death spiral” and called the GOP bill “unworkable and unsustainable.”
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the Republican plan, which would allow insurers to offer plans with lower premiums for low- and moderate-income Americans.
Sen. Bernie Sanders Bernard (Bernie) SandersOn The Money: US trade chief casts doubt on Canada joining new deal | House panel to vote on tariffs | Trump to meet with tech executives | Biden to meet tech executives Senate panel to approve tax credits for phasing out tax credits to help insurers lower premiums MORE (I-Vt.) and other progressives have demanded that Manchin support a bill that would allow states to waive their Medicaid eligibility rules, which could lower premiums and allow more people to receive the health insurance subsidies.
Manchins office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Senate GOP bill, known as Graham-Cassidy, is the second version of a healthcare bill that Republicans have introduced in the wake of the catastrophic Obamacare rollout.
The first version would have allowed insurers to charge sick people more and reduce their coverage for lower-income customers.
But Republicans, including Manchin, are now pushing to add a new provision to the bill that allows insurers to continue to charge higher premiums for lower income people.
“The Graham-Cassidy bill would not be a replacement for ObamaCare,” Manchin wrote on Twitter.
“I’m opposed to the Graham-Coats bill.
Its just the start.”
Democrats on the panel are also pressing for more money for states to implement their Medicaid waiver rules.
The Republican bill, called the American Health Care Act, was unveiled late last week.
It includes a $1 trillion tax cut that would be phased out after five years.
It also includes other changes, such as a $300 billion increase in Medicare benefits.
The American Health Health Care Plan, introduced by Sens.
Lamar Alexander Andrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderDems push back on using federal funds to pay for ‘social welfare’ senators press appropriators to bring in new revenue The Hill’s Morning Report — Senate Judiciary panel to consider Kavanaugh nomination MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray Patricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayMcConnell to Democrats: I’m still waiting for you to show up on day one Trump to use Medicare cuts as bargaining chip to sell health care: report MORE (D) and Sen. Ben Sasse Benjamin (Ben) Louis SasseGOP senator accuses Trump of breaking promise to withdraw US from Paris climate deal The Hill: GOP holds Kavanaugh vote ‘not a foregone conclusion’ | Biden launches investigation into Trump-Russia ties | Biden announces new probe into potential collusion between Trump campaign and Russia MORE (Neb.) said Tuesday.
The Senate Democrats will vote on the Graham and Cassidy bill on Wednesday.
The measure is expected to be approved by the full Senate.