Despite Changes, Paul Still Opposes Obamacare Repeal Bill

Posted September 26, 2017

Bill Cassidy (La.) and Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), worked through the weekend on changes created to both bolster support on the right and win over a handful of centrists who have been balking.

On Friday the Community Health Network of Washington and the Washington Association of Community and Migrant Health Centers, which represent more than 250 clinics in Washington, denounced the Graham-Cassidy bill as "an attack on the low-income patients they serve".

Republican Sen. Susan Collins says she is opposed to latest GOP health care bill, undermining prospects for passage. Without Medicaid, their families would not be able to afford the health care they need when they were sick, or the health care that helps prevent them from getting sick in the first place. That means, however, that they have to bring it to the floor by the end of the month.

The Graham-Cassidy proposal would end the Affordable Care Act's subsidies for private insurance and end the Medicaid expansion for low-income Americans adopted by 31 states, including MI.

"As in the earlier version, a state must describe in its funding application 'how the State shall maintain access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions.' As with the earlier draft, however, the consumer protections that the bill does allow states to permit insurers to waive makes protection for people with preexisting conditions very tenuous".

Many Democrats have caviled at the proposal including health care groups about the negative impact it will cause to millions.

"The bill authors' new estimates don't account for major federal funding cuts resulting from transforming Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement into a budgeted program", the article states. And he expressed hope that might put Collins in the measure's favor.

But as of mid-day Monday, Politico was reporting that Murkowski, Paul, and Collins had not changed their positions and McCain had become a "hard no".

"No" votes from three of the 52 GOP senators would kill the party's effort to deliver on its perennial vow to repeal "Obamacare" and would reprise the party's politically jarring failure to accomplish that this summer.

"All we're doing is shifting the money but basically keeping the system", Paul said on Monday. None of their concerns could be easily fixed by changing funding formulas. "Paul on board, they are likely to lose numerous moderates", he says.

Indeed, Paul's office has already said that, having seen the new amendments, Paul remains opposed to the bill.

To hear Republican senators tell it, of course, this isn't about forcing governors to make decisions that Congress is too gutless to make itself. On Sunday evening the legislation was modified so as to allocate additional funds to states represented by senators who have said they are undecided as to whether to support the measure. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have concerns.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley summed up the GOP political calculation in a call with reporters last week.

"Well, if you live long enough", he said with a grin. "But Republicans campaigned on this so often that we have -you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in a campaign".