McCain opposition may scuttle GOP health bill

Sunday, 24 Sep, 2017

"I hope they will resume their work should this last attempt at a partisan solution fail".

Interestingly, Sen. Lindsey Graham - an author of the bill - is one of McCain's close friends in the Senate. "Graham-Cassidy has to be compared not to the best-case scenario for current policy, but, instead, to the likely-case scenario, which includes the implosion of our individual health insurance markets and continued political paralysis in Washington, DC". "You're just trying to deal with a very complex situation equitable distribution and that's what's going on here".

Paul, who pushed a previous Senate repeal proposal that did less to undo ObamaCare's regulations than the new bill, said Friday that he "won't be bribed or bullied" into supporting the Graham-Cassidy bill after Trump labeled him "the Republican who saved ObamaCare".

Murkowski has been viewed as the GOP (Grand Old Party, a nickname for the Republican Party) sceptic most likely to change her vote. "Senators Alexander and Murray have been negotiating in good faith to fix some of the problems with Obamacare", he said.

On the other side, late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel, whose son was born with a heart defect, got considerable attention when he criticised the new repeal effort at length on his show and said the Republicans were lying about what their new programme would cover.

The Cassidy-Graham bill would transfer billions of dollars of federal funding to states and eliminate the ACA's mandate that requires all Americans to have health insurance.

"Who knows why McCain is doing this", she said.

Graham vowed in a statement to move forward despite McCain's announcement.

Millions more Americans have been able to secure insurance to help pay their health care bills under Obamacare, but Republicans revile it, partly because nearly all workers have been forced to buy insurance coverage or pay a penalty if they did not. Lindsey Graham of SC and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

For his part, Graham issued a statement on Friday saying his friendship with McCain "is not based on how he votes but respect for how he's lived his life and the person he is". He cited concerns with the Republican's partisan process and their lack of hearings, markups and amendments in the Senate. It ran into an immediate veto by then-President Barack Obama.

There are 19 states that refused to extend health insurance to their poor and near-poor citizens when the federal government was willing to pay 100 percent of the initial Medicaid cost and 90 percent over time. They say it risks introducing a level of uncertainty for insurers and health care providers that could jeopardize jobs, hospitals and clinics nationwide. Rand Paul (R-KY) will support the healthcare measure.

"If you are a Tennessean, no matter what side of the aisle you are on, you should be a strong supporter of Graham-Cassidy", U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who helped kill the last Obamacare repeal bill in July.

"With only a few legislative days left for the entire process to conclude, there clearly is not sufficient time for policymakers, governors, Medicaid directors, or other critical stakeholders to engage in the thoughtful deliberation necessary to ensure successful long-term reforms", the directors' statement reads said. Republicans can not lose any additional senators and still pass the legislation with 50 votes and Vice President Pence acting as the tiebreaker. But Democrats have shown no interest in any bill that significantly alters the taxes, spending or structure of Obamacare.

So there is little margin for error when the Democrats are united against the repeal.

Paul spokesman Sergio Gor told CNN Friday that Paul is "unlikely" to change his mind even if changes were made to the bill, and a leadership aide said they thought Paul was way too far gone to come back around now.