It’s now clear that the latest Republican effort to repeal and
replace Obamacare is gaining significant steam in the Senate. It’s
doing so because Senate Republicans are tired to hearing that they
aren’t doing anything to push the ball forward, and also because the
latest deadline on September 30 means that Republicans must either
pass a new budget or lose their opportunity for reconciliation under
the Senate rules.
So, what’s in the new bill, sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham
(R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA)?
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Medicaid Gets Slashed. Technically, Medicaid growth gets slashed.
Instead of the federal government sending money to states on a need
basis, states are given block grants — and more importantly, all the
money is pooled and redistributed, rather than granted to states
that expanded their Obamacare-subsidized Medicaid rolls. The goal
would be to cut expected Medicaid funding on the federal level by
one-third by 2026, and eliminate it entirely by 2027. But that’s ten
years down the road, and unlikely to ever occur.
2. Medicaid Gets Redistributed. The states hardest hit are those
that have already expanded their Medicaid rolls, attempting to take
advantage of President Obama’s subsidies. The new rules would
benefit states like Wisconsin, Alabama, and Mississippi at the
expense of states like New York and California.
3. No More Individual Mandate. This was always the least popular
part of Obamacare, and it would disappear. This means many people
would voluntarily drop out of the health care market. It also means
that insurance companies would likely raise their rates to
4. States Get The Ability To Waive Essential Benefits. Under this
new plan, states could waive certain “essential health benefits,”
opening up the market some more. Pre-existing conditions regulations
would remain on the basis of sex, for example, but states could
waive regulations forcing insurance companies to cover certain
“essential health benefits.” The bill still requires states to show
“how the state intends to maintain adequate and affordable health
insurance coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions.”
This is a better bill than the one the Republicans rejected a few
months back. It still won’t do enough to open up competition — until
all pre-existing conditions regulations are removed, competition
won’t be free and open. It also doesn’t get rid of all of
Obamacare’s taxes. It’s going to be difficult for Republicans to
pick up Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) vote, and Republicans may have to
ignore Planned Parenthood funding in order to grab the votes of
Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME). In any
case, this won’t be an Obamacare repeal. It will be a continuation
of Obamacare, with significant cuts to Medicaid. Until key Obamacare regulations and taxes are fully removed, watch for premiums to
increase as the individual mandate is repealed.
Dems & the media want Trump to be more like Obama, but then he'd
have to audit liberals & wire tap reporters' phones.