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Crosstalk: July 3, 2017

For several years, we've heard over and over again that a GOP led Congress and Senate would repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Vote after vote was taken for just such a repeal but it never went anywhere.

After much 'arm twisting', the measure came up before the House of Representatives. They narrowly passed a bill to replace Obamacare (not a full repeal) and now the eyes of the nation are on the U.S. Senate which just released their bill last week. Known as the 'Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017', it's getting a makeover of its own.

Shortly after the release of this act, it received immediate opposition and we were told that the vote would happen before the July 4th recess. However, now we're being told it will happen after the recess but before the August break.

Joining Jim to discuss this issue was Twila Brase, the president and co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom. Twila is also a registered nurse and speaker on the daily commentary, 'Health Freedom Minute'.

According to Twila, the 'Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017' is 142 pages in length and is comprised primarily of changes in Medicaid. Other changes include getting rid of all the taxes (except for the 'Cadillac tax' which it delays). It doesn't get rid of the individual mandate, but it does 'zero-out' the penalty. It adds money for opioid prevention, there is new stability funding that gives money to states and insurers to help cover people with uninsurable conditions and it prohibits abortions except to save the life of the mother. It also decreases the number of people who can get access to the tax subsidies through the exchanges although it doesn't get rid of the exchanges themselves. In essence, it doesn't repeal Obamacare, but is essentially a restructuring of it.

Twila noted that the most conservative senators didn't like it. Perhaps most startling was news that the 13 member group that was supposedly putting together the Senate version had not even seen the Senate bill before it came out. This indicates that it was being crafted by some insider group.

Twila continued to break down this current move by legislators as it pertains to Obamacare, but she best summed the situation up this way: 'There's so much money in health care that has nothing to do with patient care because it's all of the interlopers, it's all of the middlemen, it's all of the government bureaucrats; everybody with their fingers in the pie essentially making money off of the patient and the doctor. So many more patients could be taken care of, including those who are poor, at actually a pretty affordable price, if we just got all those interlopers out of there.'

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