Strong reaction to GOP healthcare plan in Austin

Reaction to the healthcare plan ranges from doubt it will pass to outrage over the proposed cuts to Medicaid. 

Protesters with ADAPT gathered in front of the JJ Pickle Federal Building shortly after the Senate health care plan was made public. They dressed in costumes typically seen in October moonlight and not under a blistering summer sun. They are convinced the proposed cuts to Medicaid in the Senate plan will bring about the death of services they rely on.

"Without our attendant services we would be forced into institutions like nursing homes and state run institutions, and we don't want that, you lose your individual freedoms you lose your autonomy, you lose your peace and quiet, and you lose your dignity and independence."
Among those who walked by the protest was Rachel Johnson. She was moved by their concerns. "I think they need to think about the people that need help with that issue,” said Johnson who still wants her insurance costs to go down.

The 142 page proposal was praised, in a written statement, by Senator John Cornyn. "Our plan will help lower skyrocketing costs, protect patients with pre-existing conditions, and ensure Medicaid is there for the Texans who need it most."

Passage of the reform plan hinges on conservatives like Senator Ted Cruz.

Almost immediately he rejected it but said he's willing to negotiate.

"This matters. We've got ‘a do it, and also we've got ‘a get it right.  It's not enough just to pass a bill that has 'Obamacare repeal' in the title.  We've got to have legislation that fixes the underlying problem,” said Sen. Cruz.

In a social media post by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, the organization stated;

“Medicaid is a life line for Texas kids, seniors, people with disabilities and pregnant women. Senate plan slashes it.”

Drew White, who is Senior Federal Policy Analyst with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said there’s not much difference in ObamnaCare and the Senate Bill.

He considers the proposal to be another missed opportunity.

"I think if states are allowed to get back to a system, albeit wasn't perfect before ObamaCare, but if we are allowed to get back to that  system and have a larger control over that, we can set up things like High Risk Pools and Health Savings Accounts and have better control over those dollars,” said White.

If a floor debate happens, a major re-write is expected. But Jeff Sanchez who works downtown and who is among those hoping for lower premiums isn't holding his breath. "At this current stage in politics I don’t think so, there is always this for that, so kind of get what you pay for, but at the same time, I think people who deserve help should get help,” said Sanchez.

Officials at Planned Parenthood called the Senate bill the worst legislation for women in a generation.

Cecile Richards claims 13 million women could lose maternity care coverage if it’s passed as is. Conservative groups also criticized the section dealing with pregnancy, saying it will force a 65-year-old man to buy maternity coverage.