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Senate Unveils Health Care Reform Bill

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Senate Unveils Health Care Reform Bill

Today the United States Senate revealed details of the health care reform bill they have been privately working on for months. Senate leadership has decided to use a procedure that does not allow for a filibuster, so they can pass this bill with only 50 votes.

Reforms to the Affordable Care Act in the Senate version are not as dramatic as the changes contained in the House reform bill, however, major changes would result.

The bill phases out the Medicaid expansion provided in the affordable care act. However, it does so over a longer, three-year period. Since many individuals are treated for SUD through the Medicaid program, this is a concern for NAATP.

States would have the ability to modify or eliminate the ten essential benefit requirements under the Senate bill, just as the House bill provided. This is also a major concern for NAATP.

The proposal would continue the requirements of coverage for pre-existing conditions as long as coverage does not lapse.

On a positive note, Parity language for Medicaid block grants was included in the proposed law. IMD exclusion was also changed to allow for 30 days of treatment per month and 90 days annually for all Medicaid covered patients.

NAATP will be reviewing the 142-page bill closely in the days ahead as well as monitoring the vote count in the Senate. Senate Leadership would like to pass this late next week. We anticipate changes will be made in the days ahead in an attempt to bring support from the necessary 50 Senators.

It is critical that you express your concerns to your US Senators as soon as possible. Senate republicans can only lose two senators and still pass this bill. Your voice will make a difference.

Link to Senators: 

Mark Dunn
NAATP Director of Public Policy
Washington, DC

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