Brewing in the Senate, a disastrous Obamacare 'reform'

Tuesday, 19 Sep, 2017

According to an analysis shared by Andy Slavitt, who ran the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Obama, an estimated 32 million people could lose health coverage by the end of the decade if Graham-Cassidy becomes law.

Graham said last week that McConnell said he was "all in" to help the two bill sponsors round up the 50 votes to pass the bill. "It's time for them to get the job done". A huge majority of voters, nearly 2-1, consider it a good thing that previous attempts at repealing and replacing Obamacare failed. Senator Rand Paul said it did not go far enough to repeal Obamacare. But Democrats and their allies are going all-out to stop the drive. "The Cassidy-Graham bill would presumably result in even deeper coverage losses than that in the second decade". Summaries of the bill indicate that, if passed, it would be every bit as harmful as the Trumpcare proposals that failed to escape the Senate in July.

GCHJ also eliminates the inequity of three states receiving 37 percent of Obamacare funds and brings all states to funding parity by 2026. Republican (and sometimes Democratic) governors have always been cheerleaders for this concept, though they are generally not as willing as members of Congress or conservative activists to contemplate a compete federal abandonment of Medicaid to the states at some point down the road. States that participated more in the ACA-such as NY and California-would be penalized financially, and those that did not would be rewarded financially. But two of the three key governors with GOP senators on the fence are from expansion states: Alaska (independent Bill Walker) and Doug Ducey (Republican from Arizona).

Liberal groups including MoveOn.org are working to defeat the plan.

The simple fact is that all the major elements of the ACA - prohibiting discrimination by insurers based on medical history, requiring that people buy insurance even if they're now healthy, premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion that make insurance affordable even for those with lower incomes - are there because they're necessary.

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It would also shift money around in ways that would, on the whole, hurt states that have been trying to get health coverage to their less affluent residents.

Another twist that could adversely affect Medicaid-expansion states is that they will not be able to use the new block-grant money to reenroll people in Medicaid: If they want to cover them, it will have to be via private health insurance. "Nevertheless, FreedomWorks is treating it as what is likely to be the last serious attempt to reform Obamacare".

Heller, arguably the most vulnerable Republican senator up for reelection next year, was hit with attack ads from both sides during this health care fracas.

President Donald Trump has been telephoning members of Congress in recent days urging action on dismantling Obamacare.

"I don't think it'll be any good for the country". Graham and Cassidy would move us.