08:47 GMT24 January 2021
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    The plan approved by the Senate Republicans to replace the US healthcare system known as Obamacare will increase spending for participants in the low-income coverage program Medicaid by at least $265 billion between 2018 and 2026, White House said in a press release on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The estimate was provided by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, which takes issue with a widely cited report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) claiming the Republican plan would gut Medicaid.

    "This [CBO] estimate is likely substantially inflated since Medicaid enrollees currently pay little to no out of pocket costs and most are not subject to the individual mandate penalty," the release stated.

    The "individual mandate" refers to a provision in Obamacare that imposes a tax on non-Medicaid individuals who fail to purchase health insurance.

    The CBO estimated that 4 million people would drop Medicaid coverage in 2018 rising to 7 million people by 2026 if the individual mandate were eliminated.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed the start of lawmakers’ August recess in an attempt to round up at least 50 of the Senate’s 52 Republican votes needed to pass the legislation.

    But with multiple defections on the Republican side, McConnell has also indicated a willingness to work with Democrats if his efforts fall short.

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    Tags:
    spending, healthcare, Medicaid, US Senate, White House, US
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