Democrats to study every option to halt Obamacare repeal bill

7 Ways the GOP's Last Ditch Obamacare Replacement Could Affect You
Complacency Could Kill Health Care
Author

19 September, 2017

This is a matter of urgency because the authority the Senate has to pass Obamacare repeal with just 51 votes expires on September 30.

A number of Republicans are jumping on board a proposal by Sens. Last week, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced a new repeal plan, Mitch McConnell is now gauging interest and considering a vote, and Graham is rallying Republicans by urging them not to retreat on healthcare with "their tails between their legs". But some of the same GOP senators who blocked various stages of earlier repeal efforts are withholding their support.

But the hallowed Republican idea of offering flexibility in use of federal health-care funds so long as there are less of them every year could still achieve a long-awaited triumph if Graham and Cassidy get that 50th Senate vote.

Previous attempts by Republicans to do that met with humiliating failure in July, when an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill flopped in the Senate, triggering a barrage of hectoring tweets from Trump against party leaders.

The leaders of the latest repeal effort, Sens. "The GOP is back w/ another version of #Trumpcare & it's no better than their last plan".

Paul voted in favor of the failed "skinny" ObamaCare repeal bill over the summer only after Senate leadership allowed a vote on an amendment that would have repealed the law in full. Republicans control the Senate 52-48.

The good news is that for technical reasons of parliamentary procedure, Graham-Cassidy has to pass by the end of this month, or not at all.

"They're going nuts. They're going absolutely insane", Graham said.

But if it can get through the Senate, it may have a chance in the House of Representatives, also run by Republicans.

More news: Graham, Cassidy unveil last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill

"No conservative should vote for a rebranded trillion dollar spending program just because it adds some block grants", Paul wrote Monday on Twitter.

Strengthens the ability for states to waive Obamacare regulations.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona told an MSNBC correspondent he might "reluctantly" vote for the measure offered by Sens. Once Republican governors wake up to the possibility of this bill becoming law, their reaction could be influential. What happens then? The bottom line, said Jacob Leibenluft, a senior adviser at the center, is that Graham-Cassidy "punts all the problems to governors while giving them insufficient tools and resources to address them".

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. "It is his dream and that's where Democrats are going". McCain was interviewed on "Face the Nation", and health care never came up.

While Homeland Security may not be the traditional committee of jurisdiction over health care issues, it is chaired by GOP Sen. But passage of the bill in the Senate could lead to negotiations with the House, reviving prospects for repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

"We're crunching those numbers", he said.

Refusing to accept defeat, Graham and Cassidy have come up with yet another bill. Still, it isn't clear that the measure would have enough support to pass the chamber. "Of course, block grants are much better than other ways to do things ... but again, this is a very serious question, and I'm studying it very closely". Obamacare was rammed through with Democrats' votes only.

McCain spokeswoman Julie Tarallo said the senator is continuing to "review" the text Cassidy introduced last week. As a result, it will redistribute a lot of money from the 31 expansion states to the 19 non-expansion states. Some Republican senators are nervous about the measure's impact on their own states, and the lack of CBO projections won't help allay their concerns.

Still, Republicans campaigned on the promise of repealing Obamacare, and many don't want to give up. Lindsey Graham of SC and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, both Republicans. President Donald Trump let the Republican senators know he's rooting for them, though he didn't explicitly supporting the legislation.


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