How the Proposed Healthcare Bill Will Impact Connecticut

The latest healthcare bill cuts deep into Medicaid funding, defunds Planned Parenthood, eliminates the mandate requiring people to buy health insurance and cuts taxes on the wealthy. 

Connecticut's U.S. senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal traveled around the state on Friday to spread the word that the healthcare overhaul bill is a bad move.

"This would be a humanitarian catastrophe for Connecticut if it passed, and it would be a fiscal disaster for the state," Murphy said. 

Both Senators call the impact devastating, saying potentially hundreds of thousands of people could lose coverage in the state. The two traveled to New Haven and spoke to a large crowd, calling the bill cruel, costly and unaffordable.

"This Republican proposal should be called the Un-American Unaffordable Health Care Plan," said Blumenthal.

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke in Washington and directly addressed the criticism from Democrats.

"They were wrong before, they're wrong again now. Because Obamacare isn't working by nearly any measure it has failed and no amount of eleventh hour reality denying or buck passing by democrats is going to change the fact that more Americans are going to get hurt unless we do something," said McConnell.

Reaction from residents in Connecticut vary: Some believe the bill would end up causing more harm if it passed.

"I think it's definitely going to hit a lot of Americans hard," Elizabeth Carlos from Waterbury said.

Others believe any change is better than the current healthcare law.

"It's not working. It's costing too much money, especially for those who already had healthcare. My premiums went up," Heather Florio from Ellington said.

But with the bill aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood, director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Gretchen Raffa, said it could hurt 30,000 Connecticut patients who depend on Planned Parenthood.

"Simply put, it's the worst bill in a generation for women's healthcare," Raffa said. "What this bill will do is block people that rely on Medicaid for health care coverage from coming to Planned Parenthood for preventative services."

Linda Masci from Clinton attended the gathering in New Haven with Connecticut's U.S. senators. She said she knows how critical health insurance is. Her daughter was diagnosed with cancer at a young age. Masci said she was fortunate to have health insurance and knows not everyone is.

"I saw parents going out to do fundraisers to get money for children with cancer. That's unacceptable in the United States," Masci said.

It's expected the Senate could take up the bill as soon as next week, but no vote can happen until the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office's analysis comes out, which is expected early next week.

With no Democrats expected to support it, Republicans can only lose two on their side. Already four conservative senators have publicly said they oppose the current form of the bill. Senator Murphy doubts that opposition will stand. He says for them, they're focused on convincing moderate Republicans it's a bad move.

"I don't think Mitch McConnell has the votes today, but he is really close," Murphy said.

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