CBO won't estimate full effects of Obamacare repeal until after vote deadline

Conservative Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has repeatedly railed against the measure, arguing it's "Obamacare lite" and doesn't do enough to repeal key provisions of the ACA.

Some Senate Republicans are trying to revive their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGOP senators make last-ditch bid to repeal ObamaCare Week ahead: Senate picks up pace on Trump energy nominees GAO to investigate Zinke's alleged Alaskan threat: report MORE (R-Alaska), who could be the deciding vote on a new ObamaCare repeal bill, says she is still studying the measure and its effects on Alaska. He added moments later, "Graham/Cassidy keeps Obamacare and tells the states to run it". A huge majority of voters, nearly 2-1, consider it a good thing that previous attempts at repealing and replacing Obamacare failed. Perhaps the biggest change would be providing block grant money to states. 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.

Top Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote to the budget office Monday asking that its analysis be "comprehensive", including showing the number of people that would lose coverage and the plan's impact on premiums. Graham-Cassidy, however, wouldn't simply allow waivers of Obamacare's protections for people with preexisting conditions. Summaries of the bill indicate that, if passed, it would be every bit as harmful as the Trumpcare proposals that failed to escape the Senate in July. Dean Heller of Nevada and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin - are backing the measure too. Under Graham-Cassidy, total federal Medicaid spending would be cut 26 percent in 2026 and 35 percent by 2036, relative to spending projections under current law. The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said Friday the bill would "significantly" cut federal funding for health coverage over the next decade. If they chose, states could abandon the ACA's regulations on insurers to provide certain "essential benefits" and charge the same premiums to people regardless of their health status. "Nevertheless, FreedomWorks is treating it as what is likely to be the last serious attempt to reform Obamacare".

It's unclear just how many Republican senators are in favor of the bill, but at least one Sen. President Donald Trump let the Republican senators know he's rooting for them, though he didn't explicitly supporting the legislation. Indeed, the Graham-Cassidy bill that represents the last-chance Republican initiative to get rid of Obamacare is heavily based on the idea of state flexibility in exchange for greatly reduced Medicaid - and tax credits to purchase Obamacare insurance - funding. Graham and Cassidy would move us.

  • Rogelio Becker