The Senate health care committee has approved $1 billion in federal funding for a $1 trillion Medicaid overhaul that would cover more than 70 million Americans by 2026.
The measure, which now goes to the full Senate, would replace President Trump’s controversial Affordable Care Act and allow states to expand Medicaid.
It’s a step forward in efforts to expand coverage under the health care law, which was created by the GOP and passed in 2010.
Democrats are pushing for the bill to include funding to expand Medicare benefits, including the federal subsidies for people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the bill will create a system that provides coverage for the millions of Americans who currently don’t have it.
The proposal, he said, will help families in the state of Oregon who rely on Medicaid.
“This is a critical step toward providing coverage to everyone who needs it, and it also helps states in other ways,” Wyden said.
The Senate will vote on the bill Thursday, but Democrats will need 60 votes to overcome Republican opposition.
Wyden said the measure will also provide a new program that would provide financial assistance for people who qualify for Medicaid but do not have a home.
States could use that money to expand their Medicaid programs, which is often considered a priority for Democrats, as the federal government provides health insurance to about 40 million Americans.
Democrats say the legislation will give states more flexibility in how they implement Medicaid and will allow states with the least-affordable Medicaid to choose to expand the program.
The legislation also would help states address health disparities in Medicaid, such as disparities between children and adults and children and low-income people.
The measure also calls for a “sensible, cost-effective” transition period to help states reduce the number of people on Medicaid and for states to decide whether to extend coverage to adults with serious health conditions.
The bill would provide a $5 billion boost to Medicare over the next decade.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that would bring down the federal deficit by about $716 billion over the same period, according to the Congressional Budget Service.
The CBO has estimated that the bill would raise $1,000 for every $1 that would be raised in the first year.