The Senate Republicans’ revised healthcare bill adds an “enormous amount of new flexibility” to states, and most likely will get the votes it needs to pass, Sen. Dan Sullivan said Friday.
“If you believe in the 10th Amendment, that is a very, very positive aspect of this bill,” the Alaska Republican told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
The revisions to the Better Care Reconciliation Act, announced this week, will provide an extra $70 billion for states to use toward helping residents establish health savings accounts, reducing premiums, or undertaking other initiatives for reducing costs. Initially, the bill’s first draft allowed $112 billion for those items.
The changes also include $45 billion to fund treatment for people with opioid addictions.
Sullivan, though, denied that the bill includes a slush fund to help bail out insurance companies, as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and other opponents have claimed.
“I wouldn’t call it a slush fund,” said Sullivan. “There is a huge amount of money towards the opioid and addiction crisis that is, you know, crushing many states, including mine, in the bill, and there are provisions, for example, that relate to states like mine with very, very high premiums.”
The revisions, he said, provide a “kind of a safety valve for states that have super high premiums and the ability to bring those down,” so there are “good things in this.”
The bill does not repeal Obamacare, but it does take away many of its unwanted features, said Sullivan, including the employer and individual mandates, which made “the biggest tax, in many ways.”
“In this draft. I think that, you know, there are elements like that that are, much in some ways being overlooked, but absolutely critical moving forward giving Americans more freedom with regard to their healthcare choices,” the senator said.