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Senate Republicans Could Vote On Obamacare Repeal By End of Month

Senate Republicans Could Vote On Obamacare Repeal By End of Month”

Health Reform: After nine fruitless months, Republicans have finally come up with an ObamaCare replacement plan that is simple and appealing, and that should easily pass the Senate.

A number of Republicans are jumping on board a proposal by Sens. 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). Because Republicans obviously aren't getting 60 votes since Democrats universally oppose a repeal of Obamacare.

Democrats are warning that the bill is a serious threat. 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. As with work requirements and shortened eligibility periods, these tools might help reduce Medicaid spending while at the same time shifting more indigent health care costs directly back onto local budgets or other portions of states' own budgets. Under the Graham-Cassidy bill, he noted, a state seeking a waiver would have to describe how it intends to "maintain access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions". South Carolina Republicans in the House who support states' rights and hate Obamacare would likely back the bill if presented with the opportunity to vote on it. Republicans control the Senate 52-48. Lindsey Graham of SC and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, say their drive is gaining momentum. Graham said they could have as many as 48 votes if the vote were held now. Perhaps he's really itching for the flexibility to get rid of some Medicaid enrollees: In a Medicaid waiver application filed during the latter days of the Obama administration, Ducey asked for a five-year lifetime limit on Medicaid benefits for able-bodied adults; that idea was rejected.

Already, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has said he will not vote for the measure because it leaves too much of the Affordable Care Act in place. These cuts would reach 40% by 2026 and grow ultimately to 100% when the block grants end in 2027, with no forward plan beyond that year.

Graham and Cassidy boast that their bill would also enhance the ability of states to waive "Obamacare regulations".

If Cassidy ends up just swapping Paul's support for McCain's backing, he needs to net an additional vote from one of two other moderate Republicans - Sens.

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Repeals Obamacare Individual and Employer Mandates. They are also trying to get Sen.

Of course, the Congressional Budget Office will no doubt say that the bill will cause 20 million or so to "lose" coverage - a prediction that Republicans should ignore since, as we've pointed out in this space, it is based on outdated numbers and ridiculous assumptions. "The way to do this is have a bill, put it through the committee".

"We expect regular staff briefings and member discussions to continue", David Popp, a McConnell spokesman, said in an email Monday.

And then there's President Donald Trump, who has said little publicly about Graham-Cassidy, even though he devoted several tweets last week to slamming Sen.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., has spoken positively about the bill, as has Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.



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