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Health care bill has money for Alaska, home of a GOP holdout

WASHINGTON (AP) – A provision in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rewritten health care bill appears to benefit only one state. That’s Alaska, home of one holdout McConnell badly needs to keep the legislation alive.

The language would give states with extremely high premiums an added cut totaling $ 182 billion through 2026, from two funds created by the measure. The money is supposed to help insurers curb consumers’ coverage costs.

Analysts at the consulting firm Avalere Health estimate the provision would mean $ 150 million for Alaska 2018, $ 230 million in 2019 and additional amounts in subsequent years.

McConnell, R-Ky., needs support from all but two of the 52 GOP senators to pass the bill. Two have already expressed opposition, and all Democrats are set to vote “no.”

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is among several GOP senators saying they’re undecided. Her state has unusually high medical costs because much of it is remote, and it relies heavily on Medicaid, which the bill would cut.

McConnell is planning a crucial first vote next week.

Under the bill, other states might qualify for money in the future if they experience extremely high premiums of at least 75 percent above the national average.


This story has been corrected to show the name of the company is Avalere Health.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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