aside US Senate Leaders Nix Bipartisan Efforts To Fix Obamacare As They Push Graham-Cassidy Bill

Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham/ Photograph by Alex Wong / Getty

The republican President Donald Trump with the US Senate leadership are hard at work to push through their latest health-care bill, the Graham-Cassidy bill by September 30, 2017, WHICH WOULD CUT OFF MILLIONS FROM HAVING ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE INSURANCE.

So far, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has come out in opposition already, while Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has been publicly critical.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) who has voted against previous republican proposals has not yet announced her decision regarding Graham-Cassidy bill.

As per a 9/19/17 CNN report, “I will use the governor’s words,” she said, referring to Alaska Gov. Bill Walker. “He said, ‘I understand that a block grant gives me increased flexibility, but if I don’t have the dollars to help implement the flexibility, that doesn’t help us much.’ So, we are both trying to figure out how those dollars fall.”

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said he would base his vote on what his governor wanted, and the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has given his approval of the Graham-Cassidy bill. In addition, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who is sponsoring this legislation happens to be Senator McCain’s best friend.

Image result for photos of sen lisa murkowski and sen susan collins
COLLINS/ MCCAIN/ MURKOWSKI

Sound the alarms! “We the people” have to continue to man the phones  to let our legislators know that we want Obamacare fixed and not repealed.

TO FAX:  Resistbot will do it all for you. Text “RESIST” to 50409 or message Resistbot on Facebook and it will walk you through the steps to fax your Senator and will tell you when your fax has been delivered.

The main US Senate phone line 202-225-3121 (202-224-3121) or  YOU CAN FIND PHONE NUMBERS FOR EVERY SENATOR HERE. or U.S. Senate: Senators of the 115th Congress.

Image result for PHOTO OF SENATORS ON FENCE BCRA

Image result for PHOTOS OF SENATORS DEBATING aca bill

Image result for photos of sen lisa murkowski and sen susan collins

On September 19. 2017, Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan of the New york Times penned the following report, “Republican Leaders Defy Bipartisan Opposition to Health Law Repeal.”

Excerpts:

“Republican leaders appeared determined to thwart any alternative ahead of a possible showdown vote next week. Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, announced Tuesday (9/19/17) that he and Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, would not come forward with the “limited, bipartisan plan to stabilize 2018 premiums” in the individual health insurance market that they had been working toward.”

Editorial cartoon on President Donald Trump and Obamacare

“Their bipartisan efforts, which grew out of four days of committee hearings, were overtaken by the resumption of partisan warfare on health care.”

“But the latest repeal legislation was facing significant opposition. The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and AARP, the lobby for older Americans, all urged the Senate to reject the bill. And 10 of the 12 governors opposing the measure signed a letter urging Senate leaders to scrap it.”

“The Graham-Cassidy bill “would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage, destabilize health insurance markets, and decrease access to affordable coverage and care,” Dr. James Madara, the chief executive of the A.M.A., said in a letter to Senate leaders.”

Editorial cartoon on Republicans and Obamacare“Richard J. Pollack, the president of the hospital association, said the bill “would erode key protections for patients and consumers.”

“While the two main insurance associations remained silent on Tuesday as they pondered how they planned to respond to the legislation, Centene, one of the few insurers that has aggressively expanded its presence in the individual market for next year, voiced misgivings.”

“From a public policy standpoint, it is not a good piece of legislation,” Centene’s chief executive, Michael F. Neidorff, said in an interview.  States may not be able to plan, given the uncertainty over their funding, he said. “You could end up with 50 different plans,” he said.”

“Within hours after the bipartisan group of governors sent their letter opposing the repeal bill, Senator Cassidy provided a letter from 15 Republican governors supporting the concept of “adequately funded block grants to the states.”

Editorial cartoon on Senate Republicans and Obamacare

“By Tuesday evening (9/19/17), Ms.(Lisa) Murkowski appeared to be the key vote.”

“At least two other Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, are likely no votes. With Democrats united in opposition, Republican leaders cannot afford to lose any other votes.”

“Vice President Mike Pence met with Senate Republicans at lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday and told them the Trump administration was fully behind the repeal bill, which would send more than $1 trillion to states from 2020 to 2026.”

Editorial cartoon on Mitch McConnell and health care

“Mr. Graham said he had spoken to President Trump about the bill five times in the last two days, and said Mr. Trump was “focused like a laser” on it. Mr. Graham quoted Speaker Paul D. Ryan as saying that the House would pass the bill if the Senate approved it.”

“The Graham-Cassidy bill would blow up the architecture of the Affordable Care Act, a striking departure from the Alexander-Murray effort to draft a modest bipartisan bill to provide federal funds to insurance companies to reimburse them for reducing out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers.”

“Some conservatives argued that the bipartisan bill would just prop up the health law.”

Editorial cartoon on the Senate and health care

“It “doesn’t have a chance in the House,” said Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, who helped write the Graham-Cassidy bill.”

“Mr. Alexander said the resistance to his bill was formidable. “I know how to get bipartisan results, but I’m not a magician,” he said.”

“The battle over the Affordable Care Act — adopted in 2010 without any Republican votes — has once again become an all-consuming political drama on Capitol Hill.”

“The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the top Democrat on the panel announced last week that they had reached agreement on a plan to prevent the imminent exhaustion of federal funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. But efforts to translate that agreement into legislation have been at least temporarily derailed by the Republican push for repeal of the Affordable Care Act.”

 Editorial cartoon on Paul Ryan and Republicans and health care
“Republicans were trying desperately to round up votes for the Graham-Cassidy bill before the end of next week, when the measure will lose the procedural protection that allows it to pass with a simple majority, rather than the 60 votes that would otherwise be required.”

“While Republicans like the idea of federalism and block grants, many wanted to know how their states would be affected. Under the legislation, states with high health care costs — especially if they expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act — would generally lose money, while low-cost states that did not expand Medicaid would gain.”

“The idea of giving the states more flexibility and authority is a good idea,” said Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. “As a Republican, I join my colleagues in thinking that states are the place where many health care decisions are already being made, and can be made more efficiently to cover more people and to lower costs.”

“But he added, “I want to see what the impact is on Ohio.’’

Editorial cartoon on Republicans and health care and MedicaidThe Republican governors who signed the letter opposing the latest Republican repeal plan were John R. Kasich of Ohio, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Phil Scott of Vermont.”

“Two other Republican governors, Mr. Sununu and Larry Hogan of Maryland, expressed similar concerns in separate statements.”

“The Graham-Cassidy bill is not a solution that works for Maryland,” Mr. Hogan said. “It will cost our state over $2 billion annually while directly jeopardizing the health care of our citizens.”

Editorial cartoon on Senate Republicans and health care and Medicaid

“Mr. Graham and Mr. Cassidy have cited Maryland as a state that, in their view, has been receiving more than its fair share of money under the Affordable Care Act.”

“Mr. Sununu said he could not support the Graham-Cassidy proposal because “New Hampshire could possibly lose over $1 billion in Medicaid funding between 2020 and 2026.” He said such a cost shift would be a particular problem for his state because “New Hampshire is proud of its tradition of not having an income tax or sales tax.”

“Members of the Senate health committee, who celebrated its bipartisan efforts to stabilize insurance markets in the past two weeks, said they were disappointed.”

Editorial cartoon on Republicans and health care

“Senator Collins said she hoped the panel would continue its work on a bipartisan measure, which she said had gone “extremely well” under the leadership of Mr. Alexander and Ms. Murray.”

“Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, said the Graham-Cassidy bill had been moving quietly through Washington, “like a snake in the grass,” while senators on the health committee were trying to work together across party lines.”

Editorial cartoon on Mitch McConnell and health care

“Besides creating block grants, the Graham-Cassidy bill would make deep cuts in Medicaid. It would end the expansion of eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, which has provided Medicaid coverage to 13 million people. And it would put the program, which serves more than 70 million people, on a budget, ending the open-ended entitlement that exists. States would instead receive a per-beneficiary allotment of federal money.”

7 comments

  1. Most of the Republicans are just showing contempt for the poor and yet people who voted them in will be affected by this- and not in a good way.The public will just have to remember there will be a time for payback and they’ll have to take a step towards the left which at least shows a conscience.
    Hugs Gronda

    • Dear David Prosser,

      It will definitely be a time for payback. I am here watching on the TV, where these republicans legislators are lying about their latest plans. It is a disgusting sight. They think if they yell loud enough, that they will be more convincing.

      They are not even waiting for the non-partisan accounting via the Congressional Budget Office which will estimate the effect of their bill on the US budget and the peoples currently insured because they know full well how bad the numbers will be.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. I am disappointed that McCain has switched his vote, for this bill is no better than the last, the one he voted ‘nay’ on. And I hope Senator Murkowski comes around, for her state will be one of the hardest hit by this bill. I have written and called, but thanks for the fax info …. that will be my next step. It somehow seems that being a good citizen shouldn’t have to be so hard, but these jerks in Congress simply are NOT listening to us!!!

    Thanks for this information, dear Gronda! Hugs!!!

    • Dear Jill,

      Only Senator Rand Paul has declared that he is a definite no on the Graham-Cassidy bill. Sen. McCain has not firmly declared how he will vote.

      As per a 9/20/17 CNN report, here’s the latest status:

      Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) — “My issues are still how they derive the formula and how that works with the numbers for Alaska”
      Sen. John McCain (Arizona) — “Deeply disturbed” by the lack of regular order on the bill, still looking at it “carefully”
      Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) — Undecided but has concerns about Medicaid cuts, coverage numbers, and the fact that the full CBO score won’t be ready in time.
      Unclear
      Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska) — “I’ll answer that as I dig more into the bill”
      Sen. Cory Gardner (Colorado) — Said he’s undecided and more information is needed
      Sen. Johnny Isakson (Georgia) — Spokeswoman said he was undecided
      Sen. David Perdue (Georgia) — Said he was still looking at it
      Sen. Todd Young (Indiana) — “Still thinking about it”
      Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida) — Said he still wants to see some of the details but “returning power to the states is something I want to believe in”
      Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa) — Did not respond to questions about whether she supports the bill
      Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) — Spokeswoman said he’s still studying the bill but learning toward it
      Sen. Jerry Moran (Kansas) — A spokesperson said he is still talking to Kansans about it.
      Sen. Pat Roberts (Kansas) — Said he’s looking at it, but he couldn’t say he was a “yes” yet
      Sen. Steve Daines (Montana) — Would not say publicly
      Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) — Said he’s still reading the bill but open to it
      Sen. James Lankford (Oklahoma) — Spokesman said he was undecided
      Sen. Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) — Said he hasn’t decided yet
      Sen. John Thune (South Dakota) — “We will see. It all comes down to votes … it’s got to get 50 votes. It’s a function of math.”
      Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) – Said he would like to support it, and might, but unhappy that the Graham-Cassidy bill and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all distracted from his effort with Sen. Patty Murray on market stabilization
      Sen. Bob Corker (Tennessee) — Expects to support but still studying
      Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) — Said he has not made up his mind yet
      Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) — Impressed with bill but working to see if “technical changes” can be made
      Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia) — “There is still a lot of work to be done”

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. Well, I DO hope those who are “still thinking about it”, sitting on the fence, come to a decision to follow their conscience and vote for what is in the best interest of the people of this nation, but you and I both know it won’t happen. See my a.m. post about Grassley. Such a jerk! Sigh. Hugs, my friend!

Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s