Senate Democrats are planning to unveil a bill Thursday that would give states greater flexibility to block certain health care and financial services.
Democrats plan to introduce the legislation at a press conference in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Capitol Visitor Center, where they will unveil the bill as part of a larger debate over legislation that would raise the nation’s minimum wage.
The measure, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, would provide states greater control over who gets Medicaid money and how it is spent, and would set minimum standards for Medicaid and CHIP eligibility.
It would also allow states to waive certain regulations and allow them to require insurance companies to cover certain services.
“Today, we’re making a big step forward to better connect families to the health care they need,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.
“By ensuring states have more control over how they spend Medicaid money, we will make sure Americans can stay healthy and have access to affordable health care for all.”
Sen. Ben Cardin (D, Md.) said he wants to “stop the madness” of Obamacare and replace it with a plan that provides “the kind of coverage that people want and need.”
Cardin said Democrats’ plan is “good for the country” and said it will help the country “keep more Americans working.”
But some experts say the proposal would leave the health insurance market vulnerable to fraud and abuse, which they say has contributed to skyrocketing premiums.
A study released last week by the Government Accountability Office found that 23 million Americans were covered by Medicaid at the end of 2017.
The report also found that premiums have been rising at twice the rate of inflation, and that some states are making the transition from traditional Medicaid to a private health insurance marketplace.
While many states have embraced private health care as a way to reduce the cost of coverage, critics say the market is riddled with fraud and that it is ripe for the taking.