On Thursday, Senate Republicans finally revealed a draft version of their long-awaited healthcare reform bill that they hope will replace Obamacare. The draft released shows deep cuts to Medicaid reshapes subsidies to low-income users and ends penalties for people who don’t buy insurance.

What's in the bill

The 142-page bill proposes a new system of federal tax credits to help people buy health insurance while repealing Obama’s law imposed on higher-income people and medical industry companies to pay for expanded coverage. The bill also offers states the ability to drop benefits previously required by the Affordable Care Act, such as emergency services, maternity care, and mental health treatment, but prevents states from opting out of key protections for patients with preexisting conditions.

The Senate had said previously that they rejected the House version of the bill and would start fresh with a new bill. However, the draft the Senate proposed today keeps the same main points as the House bill with only a few changes made. The Senate version offers more financial assistance to lower-income Americans than the House bill did.

In addition to budget cuts to Medicaid, the bill would also block federal payments to Planned Parenthood. Because of the services it provides, Planned Parenthood has long been a target that Republicans have been trying to defund. The bill would also allow the Senate to provide money for the next two years to help lower out-of-pocket costs for lower-income people.

The bill is expected to go to the floor as early as next week, and many are expecting it to be a lengthy discussion and close battle.

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The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 23 million people would lose insurance in 10 years under the House bill. Their analysis of the Senate measure is expected to be released in the coming days. The House bill would pull the insurance away from the estimated 20 million people that have reportedly received coverage under Obamacare.

Senators' reactions

Obamacare is collapsing around us, and the American people are desperately searching for relief,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in defense of his bill, “More Americans are going to get hurt if we do nothing.” McConnell has a slim margin of error. The bill fails in only three of the 52 GOP senators vote against the healthcare bill.

It appears McConnell may have already lost the votes he needs. Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), Mike Lee (R-Ut.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) have all said that they would not vote on the Senate Republican healthcare bill in its current form. They released a statement saying that “for a variety of reasons,” they were unwilling to vote for the bill but were open to negotiation.

They also stated that the draft would not “accomplish the most important promise we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their healthcare costs.”

Paul told reporters on Thursday that he thinks the GOP can present a better bill and that his “hope is not to defeat the bill, but to make the bill better.” Cruz said that he hadn’t fully reviewed the bill, but that some aspects of it “are a cause for deep concern.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) mocked the bill and the President, stating that “The President said the Senate bill needs heart, the President says the House bill was mean. The Senate versions are meaner.” Bernie Sander also shared Schumer’s disgust, calling the GOP bill “by far the most harmful piece of legislation I have seen in my lifetime.”

Trump and the White House seem confident that their bill would pass and expressed optimism for quick action. “We’ll hopefully get something done, and it will be something with heart and very meaningful,” Trump stated to press on Thursday.

Vice President Mike Pence also expressed the same optimism that the President had. At a separate event, Pence boasted the bill's merits and promised that “before summer’s out, President Trump is going to keep his promise to the American people and we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare.”