McConnell releases revised health care draft

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., has released a revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, originally released last week.

The only major change is a non-tax “continuous coverage” provision, which would lock out people from purchasing health insurance if they’ve gone without coverage for at least six months, according to Holland & Knight partner Nicole Elliott, a former IRS senior advisor for the Affordable Care Act.

“It is an attempt to address concerns that something is needed to ensure that there is a good risk pool in the individual market,” Elliott said. “Health insurers would be concerned if there were not something to induce healthy people to purchase health insurance.”

With at least five Republicans withholding their support for the bill as drafted, Elliott sees additional revisions before the bill comes to a vote. “I think there are other things they are concerned with as well,” she said. “It is likely that this revision is not final. There will be continuing changes and compromises before a vote is taken.”

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