GOP Senators Introduce New ACA Repeal-and-Replace Bill

15 September, 2017, 00:36 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Protestors rally against the GOP health care plan on Capitol Hill

But a group of bipartisan governors that includes Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval have voiced concerns that the bill would continue to scale back federal funds for Medicaid, which could force states to pick up a larger financial burden to provide coverage to the most vulnerable populations.

The widened healthcare discussion appeared unlikely to yield dramatic changes soon, but marked a shift from the long-running, Republican effort to gut 2010's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is formally known.

On health care, McConnell has told members of his Republican caucus not to come forward with a bill unless they have the 50 votes needed to pass it under special rules. The bill would block federal funding to Planned Parenthood, which is reimbursed by Medicaid for non-abortion services. While Congress could pass language defunding Planned Parenthood in the next fiscal year's tax-reform reconciliation bill, the Graham-Cassidy plan is the only realistic way to stop Obamacare's funding of elective abortion. But the bill would allow states to obtain waivers exempting them from many of Obamacare's regulations.

Indeed, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday is offering his competing plan - "Medicare for all".

But some experts are skeptical that auto-enrollment could work on its own; they recommend pairing it with policies, such as late-enrollment penalties, to encourage people to obtain health insurance.

Vox calls it "one last Hail Mary to repeal Obamacare". And Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, from the Senate's committee covering health care, are also reportedly working on a bipartisan Obamacare reform bill.

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The Graham-Cassidy bill has yet to gain full Republican support. The bill would also, for the first time in history, place a federal spending cap on Medicaid. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, and Tom Udall of New Mexico all plan to attend Sanders announcement Wednesday.

Traditionally, in a single-payer system, it is the government, not private insurance companies or individuals, that pays out roughly the entire cost of health care.

"Right now, if we want to move away from a dysfunctional, wasteful, bureaucratic system into a rational health-care system that guarantees coverage to everyone in a cost-effective way, the only way to do it is 'Medicare for All, '" Sen.

So, Graham knows this is likely the last chance the GOP has to repeal the ACA.

"What does matter is if a governor gets on board", he said. So far there seems to be broad support across party lines for funding cost-sharing reduction payments that the president has threatened to end while making it easier for states to tweak their health care programs.

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