Republicans’ new relief plan has less for hospitals, nothing for Medicaid; McConnell ‘faces flak from both left and right’

Senate Republicans’ latest covid-19 relief proposal “sets up new fights over health funding even as the pandemic continues to overwhelm the country,” report Dan Diamond and Adam Cancryn of Politico.

“There’s more hospital bailout cash, but it’s well short of demands. Senate Republicans are pitching a $25 billion boost to a hospital bailout fund, bringing the total to $200 billion when combined with past relief measures. That’s well short of the $100 billion infusion the industry has demanded — and that Democrats provided in their relief bill, which passed largely along party lines in May.”

Also, the bill has “no additional dollars for Medicaid,” Politico reports. “Republicans decided against boosting federal funds for the safety-net program, despite bipartisan calls from governors warning they’ll have to cut benefits without more federal help.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces “a difficult path,” Politico’s John Bresnahan and Andrew Desiderio report: “He faces flak from both his left and right, as Democrats are seeking trillions of dollars more in funding than the Kentucky Republican wants to approve, while a large group of GOP hard-liners opposes new spending altogether. . . .And then there’s Donald Trump and White House officials, who seem more concerned with saving the president’s political career than they are about preserving GOP control of the Senate.”

Asked about using part of the August recess to accomplish a package, McConnell responded: “We’ll keep you posted. . .. There’s no way to answer all those hypotheticals. The interaction with the Democrats has seriously begun.”

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