Republican Senate leaders are pushing a plan that would give states a choice between offering subsidized insurance for all Americans and expanding Medicaid.
The proposal, dubbed the Medicaid Expansion Act, is a bipartisan effort.
The legislation, which is still being developed, is being crafted by the Senate Budget Committee and is expected to be introduced next week.
The Senate Republican leadership is also working on a bipartisan plan that has been endorsed by the Congressional Budget Office, according to a statement from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
Sen. John Thune (R) of South Dakota, who sits on the Budget Committee, told reporters Thursday that he’s been working on the legislation for the last couple of weeks.
“It’s going to be a great bipartisan bill,” Thune said.
The Republican bill would allow states to opt to expand Medicaid coverage to any eligible adult, regardless of their income, for the first time since the ACA.
It would also let states expand Medicaid eligibility for adults in rural areas and expand Medicaid in low-income populations, if they are already covered under existing Medicaid.
If it were to pass the Senate, it would be the first major overhaul of Medicaid in nearly a century.
States would have to adopt the GOP proposal and then submit their plans to the White House.
The bill also would give the states more flexibility in choosing which providers they could pick for their Medicaid expansion, including doctors, hospitals and drugstores.
It is not clear whether the bill would apply to people who lose coverage as a result of a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccination.
The measure is the latest salvo in a battle between Republicans and Democrats over how to reform the nation’s health care system.
Democrats have repeatedly tried to make changes to the ACA, and President Donald Trump has repeatedly called the Affordable Care Act the “worst law in the history of the world.”
Republicans have opposed many of the proposals from Democrats.
But Trump has promised to bring the nation back to a “high-performing” standard of health care.
Republican leaders are hoping to win the backing of Democrats in the Senate next year to advance the bill.