Sen. Kaine expresses deep concerns over Republican health care bill

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Ahead of a Congressional budget office score that is coming next week, Senator Tim Kaine on Friday expressed deep concerns over the Republican health care bill.

It slashes hundreds of millions from Medicaid while cutting taxes for the wealthy.

Sen. Kaine said he wants to hear from community members about their concerns. He’s planning on taking those concerns back to Senate, where he believes they will vote on the bill next week.

“If you have a bad process, you’re going to get a bad product, and this bill first comes out of a bad process,” Kaine said.

Surrounded by health care workers, the Richmond NAACP and other stakeholders, Kaine voiced his frustration with the process he’s seen to craft a health care bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Senator is holding a roundtable to hear the concerns of the community, some expressing concerns patients have about potential cuts to Medicaid.

“She says she doesn’t even know what a low-income family would do,” one member of the roundtable said.

Kaine says he believes the bill will hurt the most vulnerable people in Virginia. He says it appears cuts to Medicaid will pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.

“This isn’t even a healthcare bill at all,” Kaine said. “It is a tax cut paid for slashing Medicaid for kids, the elderly and the disabled.”

When asked how this process is different than the one used by Democrats to pass the Affordable Care Act, Kaine said Republicans made over 100 amendments to that bill and lawmakers held a number of public hearings.

“The bill was shaped by Republicans in hearings, in amendments, in debate, and all we’re asking is give us the same opportunity,” Kaine said.

The non-partisan Congressional budget office is currently reviewing the Republican proposal. A report on the plan’s potential effect is expected next week.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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