To the surprise of absolutely no one, Senate Republicans, whose July attempt at repealing the Affordable Care Act was unsuccessful, are still gunning to kill the legislation. Authored by Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, a proposed bill would end the ACA’s individual mandate, while simultaneously gutting Medicaid’s expansion. Instead, the proposed law would provide grants for states to organize their own health care systems.
Here’s a look at what the Graham-Cassidy bill would do, as summarized by Andy Slavitt, President Obama’s former Medicare and Medicaid administrator:
Oh, and here’s another astonishingly cruel tidbit:
While the GOP’s new proposal is as unsurprising as it is concerning, Graham-Cassidy doesn’t have the necessary votes to pass…yet. Cassidy told reporters on Friday that “48 or 49” senators would vote on the bill as is — despite initial hesitation to endorse their proposal. As President Trump, Cassidy, and Graham put the pressure on their colleagues, it’s quite possible they will have 50 votes by the week’s end.
Democratic Senators are not shying away from the very real possibility that Graham-Cassidy passes. Over the weekend several Democratic Senators urged their Twitter followers to call representatives who might be on the fence. Senator Elizabeth Warren was brutally honest about the bill’s provisions:
Senate Republicans sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act by using the budget reconciliation process, which allows bills to advance with 51 votes instead of 60. But that provision expires on Sept. 30, meaning Senate Republicans will be scrambling over the next two weeks to pass a repeal. If Graham-Cassidy does pass through the Senate, it will head to the House, where there’s no guarantee that GOP Representatives will approve a bill that’s remarkably different than their version of an ACA repeal.