Revised Senate Healthcare Bill Will Punish People For Going Uninsured

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

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Jack Crowe Political Reporter
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The revised Senate healthcare bill released Monday includes a provision that penalizes people who have a lapse in coverage for more than 63 days by making them wait six months before regaining coverage.

The continuous coverage provision, intended to prevent only sick people from maintaining coverage, was absent from the initial version of the GOP Senate healthcare bill, but aides were working out of the public eye to add it, according to the Hill.

The way in which the Senate bill incentivizes continuous coverage differs from that of the House-passed American Healthcare Act. Rather than imposing a waiting period, the House bill mandates a 30 percent premium surcharge for new enrollees who let their coverage lapse for more than 63 days.

It remains unclear whether the six month waiting period will pass complex Senate budget reconciliation rules, but Republicans are hopeful that they will be able to include the provision.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn reiterated Monday that the Senate will vote on the bill this week, but it remains to be seen whether Republicans will have the necessary votes, as five GOP senators have already publicly stated their opposition to the bill.

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