Updates regarding the GOP’s attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act continue to remain front and center in the news cycle. The following is a summary of the week’s highlights:

Repeal and Replace?

Currently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that he will be introducing another version of the Republican Senate healthcare reform bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA),, and if he does not have the votes in place to repeal the ACA, then he will be open to sitting down with Senate Democrats to work on repairing the ACA, according to The Washington Post.

CMA Response to BCRA

On July 7, the California Medical Association (CMA) issued a response to the Senate bill. Here’s an excerpt. The full text of the story as well as the letter sent to McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer by the coalition of state medical associations is available on CMA’s website.

“The California Medical Association (CMA) and a coalition of 9 other state medical associations have joined together to oppose the Republican Senate health care reform bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). CMA and the other associations are concerned that the Medicaid funding cap and inflation index would not keep pace with rising costs beyond physicians’ control. The California Department of Health Care Services estimates that the Senate bill would cut California’s Medi-Cal program by $114 billion.

“‘The proposal places an untenable burden on state budgets and an uncompensated care burden on physicians who are on the frontlines caring for these patients every day.  We need Congress' help to better care for our patients.’

“The coalition has offered to work with Congress to improve our health care system and ensure access to high-quality, affordable care and coverage.”

Senate Recess and Town Hall Meetings

During the recess, Congress members often hold town hall meetings to meet face-to-face with constituents and discuss issues. The Voice of America is reporting that seven out of 52 Republican Senators have held or scheduled meetings during the recess. This compares with 30 Democrat Senators who have town hall meetings on the books. They reported: “As Senate Republicans struggle to finalize a health care reform bill, most are not holding the types of freewheeling town hall encounters with constituents that could draw protests over their plan to dismantle major portions of former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.”

Look for further updates on healthcare reform as information becomes available.

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