A new health-care bill introduced in the Senate and signed into law by President-elect Donald Trump could be the first of its kind in the U.S. Senate.
The legislation will put in place a system to allow states to offer a wide range of health-insurance plans, and set up a process for health insurance companies to seek approval from the federal government.
The president-elect’s transition team said on Wednesday that it will seek approval of a bill this week from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before moving forward with its transition.
Trump’s transition did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CBS News.
While the Senate is not expected to take up the legislation until Tuesday, the president-presidency team has said it is looking to begin negotiations with state and local officials, as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees the Medicare program.
“We want to make sure that we have a very, very fair system, and a system that is not subject to political influence, that we’re not subject for any reason to having the government interfere,” Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday during a briefing on health care policy.
According to an OMB memo, the Senate legislation would: Allow states to create their own Medicaid expansion plans, but not allow states with low-income populations to expand Medicaid.
Require states to expand their own health insurance plans and allow them to set their own rules about coverage.
Establish a Medicare prescription drug benefit that would be available to anyone who makes at least 300 percent of the poverty level.
Allow individuals and families with children to purchase private insurance on the same terms as those on Medicare.
Enact a mandate for insurers to provide coverage that includes prescription drugs.
Preserve protections for consumers against out-of-pocket costs and limit subsidies that insurers use to reduce deductibles.
Set up a “premium support” program for older people who purchase insurance on their own.
Provide a mechanism for individuals to buy health insurance on state-run exchanges, similar to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that is set to expand to 25 states in 2020.
The Senate bill would also include the repeal of a rule that prevents insurance companies from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions.
The White House has promised to sign onto the legislation, but it is unclear if the president has enough support to get it through the Senate.
A vote on the legislation is expected on Wednesday, but the Senate would need 60 votes to override a presidential veto.
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