Texomas split on new Senate health care bill

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Senate health care bill is already on life support after being revealed Thursday morning.

Five Republican senators have come out against the bill, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz. President Donald Trump said he will help lead talks in favor of passing the bill.

Several local residents Newschannel 6 spoke with are split on the bill.

Those against the bill said they do not like the fact that Medicaid will be cut in 2021, but those who are ready for a change said they just cannot continue to afford health premiums under the Affordable Care Act.

"Affordable health care only works for people who...I don't know who they work for," Freddie Allison said.

Allison said her husband she is not sure if the Better Care Reconciliation Act is the solution to her family's health care problems but she is ready for something new.

"My husband is a farm hand," Allison said. "He carries his own insurance and it is $250 a month."

That was three years ago and now her husband pays three times that much with a $4,000 deductible.

Tom Wilson who is part of a professional association that represents insurance agents said a $15 billion stabilization fund and ending cost sharing in 2019 may be the solution to stabilizing the markets and helping Allison's husband's rising insurance rates.

"Which would be a big deal for the state of Texas and Wichita Falls because right now the insurance companies don't know how to set their rates," Wilson said.

Wilson also said the market still has more complications to fix before it stabilizes.

"The entitlements and subsidies people are receiving to buy health insurance, now that they have been created, it will be very hard to do away with," Wilson said.

Alex Edwards does not agree with repealing tax breaks for insurance companies and the rich, estimated to be almost $600 billion. Nor does he agree with cutting medicated in 2021.

"They're cutting the people that need the health care in order to fund a tax cut for the wealthy people in America," Edwards said.

Both Edwards and Allison do agree that the elderly paying five times more than a younger person is not right.

"They are the ones that built the foundation which we all work in," Edwards said.

"It's a very scary thought because I'll be there someday," Allison said.

The vote on the bill can come as early as next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wants a vote before the Fourth of July.

That is just after it gets a cost and impact assessment, or a "score," from the Congressional Budget Office.

Senate Democrats said they will not support the bill which means Republicans can only afford to lose two votes in order for the bill to pass.

You can read the full bill here.

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