Leubsdorf: The last gasp of the GOP health care effort

McCain coy on new GOP health care bill that Flake, Ducey are backing

Leubsdorf: The last gasp of the GOP health care effort

Hospitals in New Jersey and the nation's doctors have joined efforts to defeat the Senate Republicans' last-minute effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. "I promised the voters repeal, but this bill actually keeps the Obamacare spending and just redistributes it among the states". Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is co-sponsoring the bill with Sen. The bill's momentum came so suddenly that the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Thune, called Cassidy "the grave robber" because "this thing was six feet under". Graham-Cassidy Bill is GREAT!

The irony of the renewed Republican effort - and the Trump administration's year-long battle to undermine Obamacare - is that most Americans are not directly affected by the legislation, because they get health insurance through private employers, the government or Medicare. "I haven't been to the Capitol, really other than just to say hi and take friends through tours, in the last 10 years", he said.

On Wednesday morning, Cassidy went on CNN to defend the bill.

On Wednesday night, Jimmy Kimmel laced into Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana for proposing new health care legislation that Kimmel said fails the "Jimmy Kimmel" test Cassidy himself had proposed in an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last May. Instead, states would receive block grants of money to allocate as they determine.

Santorum said, "I think that came about because we're putting together a plan here in health care that people are looking at and saying, gee, why couldn't our leadership do something like that?"

Paul's opposition to the block-grant approach is all the more puzzling because in July Paul voted for an amendment that would have block-granted most of the Obamacare spending.

The money would be reallocated from states that expanded Medicaid and therefore covered more residents to Republican-controlled states with higher numbers of uninsured. But while there aren't firm numbers from the Congressional Budget Office yet on the estimated impact of the bill, experts argue that its funding structure would make it hard even for states willing to chip in far more funding to establish anything close to the Affordable Care Act.

Private market rules will remain the same, but states would be allowed to waive rating rules based on health status ratings and age. It also would end an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled.

What parts of the Republicans' bill are controversial?

"I don't know what happened to Bill Cassidy", Kimmel said. Orrin Hatch of Utah, expressed doubt the Graham-Cassidy measure can pass. "And that will be a challenge even for the largest and best-resourced states", said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. "States like Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, there will be billions more dollars to provide health insurance coverage for those in those states who have been passed by by ObamaCare and we protect those with preexisting conditions".

On the other side, 15 Republican governors announced their support for the Senate bill Tuesday evening.

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