Senate GOP fast-tracks last-ditch ACA repeal

Saul Bowman
September 19, 2017

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) have a plan (read a detailed summary here).

Compared with Paul, conservative groups have been fairly quiet on the bill. "It is his dream and that's where Democrats are going".

Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress on Monday demanded that legislative analysts examine both the budgetary and healthcare impacts of a last-ditch effort by Republicans to repeal Obamacare.

The measure would end Obamacare's requirements that individuals obtain health insurance and most employers provide it to their workers, and give states broad flexibility to address the needs of people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Republican legislation, specifically this Republican legislation will result in the deaths of American citizens because Republicans are so damn greedy that all they care about are making sure we repeal those subsidies, give tax cuts to the wealthy and let their donors from the healthcare industry continue to reap massive profits while screwing over American consumers. "The grant dollars would replace the federal money now being spent on Medicaid expansion, Obamacare tax credits, cost-sharing reduction subsidies and the basic health plan dollars". Still, it isn't clear that the measure would have enough support to pass the chamber.

GCHJ also eliminates the inequity of three states receiving 37 percent of Obamacare funds and brings all states to funding parity by 2026.

Republicans are scrambling to pass Graham-Cassidy before the deadline. A more recent twist has been the "per capita cap" which adjusts federal funding to the number of people deemed eligible in each state. It would also keep most of the law's tax increases but shift them into block grants for individual states that could choose how they wished the use the money.

In addition, the Graham-Cassidy bill would make deep cuts in Medicaid. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., noted in an underappreciated tweet in July: "In the short-term, to improve the Affordable Care Act, we should have a public option in 50 states and lower the Medicare age to 55".

Republican senators from Medicaid expansion states, including Rob Portman of OH and Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, are among those who say they're still reviewing the legislation. "But, over time even non-expansion states will face budgetary challenges given the proposed changes to Medicaid, which will likely accelerate for all states over time".

This is a welcome return to federalist principles that the GOP had forgotten when crafting their earlier ObamaCare replacement bills.

Support for the bill at the moment is short of what is needed for it to pass, but party leaders are expected to hold meetings this week to gain votes.

It's unclear just how many Republican senators are in favor of the bill, but at least one Sen.

Assuming Republicans, desperate to fulfill a campaign promise, can rally behind the effort, they will be sending legislation to the president's desk to dramatically reshape the American health care system without much - if any - time for debate or chance to offer amendments.

"I applaud the Senate for continuing to work toward a solution to relieve the disastrous Obamacare burden on the American people", Trump said in a statement. The president said he hoped "Senators Graham and Cassidy have found a way to address the Obamacare crisis".

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