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US Senate set to unveil new healthcare bill today; expected to be strike more conciliatory tone

Washington: The Republican majority in the US Senate is about to reveal a new healthcare bill, one less brutal than the one proposed by the House of Representatives, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The proposals, which stand to upend the landmark Affordable Care Act signed into law by former president Barack Obama, will be revealed on Thursday.

File image of President Donald Trump. AP

File image of President Donald Trump. AP

According to the report, the draft legislation would dramatically roll back the US Medicaid system, but reduce the impact on Americans who stood to lose the most under the House version.

The bill recently passed by the House would leave 23 million more Americans without insurance, compared to the status quo, in 2026, according to an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office.

Republicans hold 52 out of 100 seats in the Senate and the latest bill is designed to find an agreement between the conservative wing and more moderate Republicans.

The Washington Post also reported that the Senate version would still radically alter the Affordable Care Act, also known as 'Obamacare', by reducing taxes created by the 2010 law, limiting the expansion of Medicaid, reconfiguring subsidies and giving states wider abilities to opt-out of regulations.

Although the Senate proposal slows Medicaid's expansion more slowly than the House bill it would institute deeper long-term cuts to the program, which helps low-income Americans, the report said.

The new legislation would also eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a non-profit reproductive health organisation that US president Donald Trump's administration has targeted for cuts.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is scheduled to present the draft bill to Republican senators on Thursday. Debates could begin in the chamber next week, with a final vote before the end of the month.

Updated Date: Jun 22, 2017 07:49 AM

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