Democrats and Republicans race to meet legislative health care deadline
Senate Republican leaders seem increasingly focused on reviving their effort to undo the Affordable Care Act before the end of the month, asking Congress's nonpartisan budget analysts to fast-track consideration of a plan that would devolve federal health-care spending to the states. But some of the same GOP senators who blocked various stages of earlier repeal efforts are withholding their support. "Two weeks ago, I'd have said zero [chance it'll pass], but now I'm anxious".
Democrats came out sharply opposed to the plan, saying it is "just as bad, if not worse, than all the other Republican health care repeal plans".
For the Cassidy-Graham bill, named after Republican Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsay Graham of SC, senators will have to vote before they even have numbers from the CBO. Graham said they could have as many as 48 votes if the vote were held now.
On Sunday, McCain repeated his view that a health plan needs to go through the committee process and gain bipartisan support - both of which are unlikely with the clock ticking and Democrats united against an Obamacare replacement.
And all this is assuming no other Republicans defect, even though Graham-Cassidy includes steep Medicaid cuts - an idea that gave many Republicans serious pause in previous incarnations. While the House approved its version of the bill in May, the drive collapsed when the GOP-led Senate defeated three proposals for scrapping Obama's 2010 overhaul in July.
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.
Republicans are facing pressure to undercut the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, with legislation as soon as possible, partially because the Senate's ability to pass budgetary legislation with a simple majority expires September 30.
With the proposed block grant, Cassidy said, "we equalize how much each American receives toward her care, irrespective of where she lives".
Compared with Paul, conservative groups have been fairly quiet on the bill. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), would repeal the individual and employer mandate as well as a number of the taxes established under the ACA. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. And states could "devise their own coverage programs".
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.
Repeals the Obamacare Medical Device Tax.
Graham and Cassidy would distribute federal block grant funds to the states using a complex formula that, like any such formula, creates winners and losers.
President Donald Trump issued a statement last week calling Obamacare a "nightmare for the many Americans who have been devastated by its skyrocketing healthcare premiums and deductibles and canceled or shrinking plans".
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said that if the bill gets the support of 50 of 52 Republican senators, he can bring it to the floor.
Heritage Action for America, which organized years of repeal rallies, echoed Paul's worry that the bill would leave the ACA's basic structure in place.
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