It still changes the subsidy payments to tax credits, but it bases the amount of assistance on age and income, rather than just age.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, defending the closed-door sessions, has said all Senate Republicans have had a chance to participate in meetings on the bill, and that Democrats are not interested in overhauling Obamacare. In other words, if the Senate does vote on the bill before July 4, it's unlikely they'll know exactly what policies they're endorsing or opposing.
"We have to act", McConnell said on the Senate floor.
But some Republican senators, as well as all the Senate's Democrats, have complained about McConnell's proposal, the secrecy with which he drafted it and the speed with which he'd like to whisk it to passage.
Some Republican senators voiced concern on Wednesday about the rush to consider the major legislation as their party's leaders prepare to unveil it.
Republicans who control the House of Representatives approved a more conservative version last month.
"They seem to be enthusiastic about what we're producing tomorrow", No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas said Wednesday of White House officials.
"It's going to be like that every year, and we'll be lucky to have what we have", she said. And even those Republicans who did not like the House plan said that it is probably an improvement over the current healthcare system. It would delay the effective date of a tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage, but Republicans plan to offer an amendment next week to eliminate this "Cadillac tax", which is opposed by labor unions and employers.
The sources said that, in some instances, the documents McConnell planned to release might suggest optional approaches for issues that remain in dispute among Republicans.
According to reports in the Washington Post and Politico, sourced to a draft that was circulating among lobbyists and aides, the Senate proposal would repeal key provisions of the ACA, restructure healthcare subsidies, and cut funding for Medicaid, the health-care program for low-income Americans.
Conservatives want a swift end to the Medicaid expansion, but centrist senators and those from states that expanded coverage, particularly in the economically hard-hit Rust Belt, prefer a slower wind-down. "It means billions of dollars less in federal aid to states for their Medicaid programs". The bill would provide tax credits to help people buy insurance.
U.S. Capitol Police are arresting dozens of people who are protesting cuts to Medicaid in the Senate Republicans' health care bill.
The Senate bill would give states more leeway in opting out of the ACA's insurance regulations through expanding the use of so-called "1332" waivers already embedded within the law.
The Republican bill would provide $50 billion through 2021 as a short-term measure, but a separate pot of money would provide another $62 billion from 2019 through 2026, the draft said. Debates could begin in the chamber next week, with a final vote before the end of the month.
McConnell may have a tough job convincing enough Republican senators the Senate bill improves on the House version.
Trump tweeted similar complaints earlier Wednesday.
"I don't think there's anybody in America that's more against Obamacare than myself".
Moderate Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she had "no idea" if she'd back the legislation until she sees the language. Such a cap will likely require states to either scale back insurance coverage or cut services, according to independent analyses from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
If the AHCA passes in the Senate, where Republicans hold a 52-to-48 majority, changes will need approval from the House again before it can be signed by the president. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., risks alienating moderates, including Capito and Sen.