Republicans Take Another Run at Obamacare Overhaul

From Drugs.com - September 14, 2017

Republicans Take Another Run at Obamacare Overhaul

THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 2017 -- Senate Republicans on Wednesday introduced a plan to roll back key provisions of the Affordable Care Act and use that money to provide block grants to states.

It's widely seen as a last-ditch attempt by the GOP to fulfill its vow to replace the health reform law often called Obamacare.

Republicans in the Senate only have until Sept. 30 to pass a repeal-and-replace bill under "budget reconciliation" rules that waive the usual 60-vote threshold in the Senate, Timothy Jost, emeritus law professor at Washington and Lee University, said Wednesday in a Health Affairs blog.

The bill sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Dean Heller of Nevada and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin would give states more decision-making authority on how to allocate health care dollars.

On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday, Cassidy said Republican and Democratic governors, insurance commissioners and Medicaid directors are asking for more flexibility.

"We think it's a blue solution and a red solution. We think it's the way to go," Cassidy said.

Instead of funding Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, premium tax-credits and cost-sharing reductions, the bill would redistribute that money to states in the form of block grants.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would also repeal the individual and employer mandates. The individual mandate requires most Americans to have insurance coverage or pay a fine.

Medical groups and consumer advocates criticized the new GOP measure, saying it would sharply boost the number of uninsured Americans and undermine key consumer health protections.

Dr. Jack Ende, president of the American College of Physicians (ACP), said the proposal fails to meet ACP criteria to ensure that patient health is improved -- not harmed -- by changes to current law.


Continue reading at Drugs.com »