Graham/Cassidy bill offers same problems in 50 smaller boxes
After spending the summer protecting the health insurance of 24 million Americans, proponents of the Affordable Care Act found themselves in front of Rep. Trott’s (R-MI 11) district office again Tuesday to head off the latest attack on their families. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) are pushing their colleagues to sign on to their plan which would replace ACA’s tax subsidies with block grants, end the law’s individual insurance mandate and scale back its Medicaid expansion. Protester’s in front of Rep. Trott’s office want him to publicly oppose the plan and dissuade Senators from suffering another embarrassing defeat.
Cherie Horrigan-Happy, whose daughter’s life was saved because of ACA coverage, doesn’t think her future would be bright under the latest version of Tumpcare. “Cassidy-Graham bill would let states waive the ACA’s prohibition on charging people with pre-existing conditions, like my daughter, higher premiums as well as its essential health benefit requirements.”
While Congressional Budget Office hasn’t yet scored the Cassidy-Graham plan, it’s clear that the plan would take coverage from tens of millions of people – just like every other ACA repeal bill. The plan’s effects would be identical to the earlier Senate repeal bill, causing 15 million people to become uninsured next year and driving up premiums by 20 percent. After 2020, when the plan’s cuts to Medicaid expansion, ACA subsidies, and the underlying Medicaid program would take effect, coverage losses would grow. By 2027, the plan would cause 32 million or more people to lose coverage, just like earlier plans to repeal the ACA with no replacement. Once its block grant funding ends, the Cassidy-Graham proposal is virtually identical to those plans, except that it also cuts Medicaid for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.
Sens. Graham and Cassidy believe they have the support of many of the 52 GOP senators but still find themselves short of the votes needed to pass right now. Senate Majority leader, Mitch McConnell and his cohorts have private meetings scheduled this week to commandeer Trump to help persuade hold out Senators. “I don’t think it’ll work this time.” said Horrigan-Happy. “Pursuing the same kind of rushed, secretive process to hide the bill’s damaging impacts didn’t work before. It’s time the Republicans come to the table and deal with this problem in the open.“