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Cassidy, Graham unveil plan to replace ACA with state block grants

Cassidy, Graham unveil plan to replace ACA with state block grants”

Maine Republican Susan Collins, who voted against repealing and replacing Obamacare in July, said she hoped to support the bipartisan Obamacare fix effort. Lindsey Graham of SC and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana are trying to bring the effort back before it's too late. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican and a doctor, introduced a bill Wednesday morning during a press conference that would cut Medicaid spending, redirect federal health care dollars to states and eliminate Obamacare's individual mandate, which requires nearly everyone to buy an insurance policy or pay a fine.

Still, a small group of Republicans led by Sens.

The bill would also give equal per-capita block grants of funding to states regardless of whether they expanded Medicaid under Obamacare or not. Just under $1.2 trillion would be allocated for this objective from 2020 through 2026. Dean Heller, R-Nev.; Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, who's been lobbying on behalf of the bill.

Asked what chance Graham-Cassidy had of passing by the end of the month. "I went to 10, maybe 11, Democratic senators, and all of them said they couldn't collaborate with us". The money would be funneled through the popular Children's Health Insurance Program, a long-standing block grant to provide care for low- and moderate-income children.

Repeal hopes have been mostly dead in Congress since a crucial vote failed in the Senate in late July. The bill has not been studied in committee, scored by the Congressional Budget Office, or evaluated on whether it complies with the Senate's procedural rules that would allow it to pass with a simple majority, and not be subject to a 60-vote threshold to defeat a potential filibuster. The clock runs out on the reconciliation rules at the end of September, which means the legislators have very little time to move their bill through both chambers of Congress, finalize it, and have it on President Donald Trump's desk for approval. Conservatives are wary because the bill falls short in erasing Obama's wide-ranging coverage requirements.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, the plan's leading author, took jabs at his party's leaders - the White House has been largely quiet on the proposal and Senate Republican leaders have left it largely up to the gang backing the bill to drum up the needed votes - amid pleas for support. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

"Our bill takes money and power out of Washington and gives it back to patients and states", Graham said in a press release.

He said he recently met with McConnell about his plan. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said that the bill would get a vote if the senators can convince 50 GOP members to support it. Graham conceded that he could use more help from the party's leadership, including the president.

Sanders is scheduled to reveal his "Medicare-For-All" bill Wednesday afternoon in the Senate.

Schipp Ames, a spokesman for the S.C. Hospital Association, said on Wednesday that hospital leaders in SC had not yet seen the exact wording of Graham's bill, but are "hopeful that this proposal will refocus the conversation on healthcare and providing equity to those states that did not expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act".

"As I have continued to say, inaction is not an option, and I sincerely hope that Senators Graham and Cassidy have found a way to address the Obamacare crisis", Trump's statement said.

"We are anxious to see the CBO score", Ames said, "and grateful to Senator Graham for listening to stakeholders in South Carolina's medical community by attempting to level the playing field for non-expansion states".

Separately, independent Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, was pushing a plan to widen the Medicare health insurance program for seniors, to include everyone. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Tuesday that her focus is on protecting the Affordable Care Act.

The bill represents a fundamentally different approach to overturning much of the sprawling 2010 health-care law than other measures Senate Republicans have attempted - and failed to achieve - this year.



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