Yelling Protesters Removed From Senate Health Care Hearing
- Author: Leroy Wright Sep 26, 2017,
Sep 26, 2017, 3:44
"If you want a hearing, you better shut up", Senator Orrin Hatch told a group of protesters who had arrived at Monday afternoon's Finance Committee hearing to voice their concerns about the revised Graham-Cassidy bill.
The bill takes most Obamacare funding and turns it over to states to develop their own plans. States may decide to change who is eligible for Medicaid or pull back on what the program covers, depending on how their funding changes. Lindsey Graham of SC and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would eliminate the mandate that everyone has to have health insurance.
The latest Republican push to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act appears to have met the fate of all previous Senate repeal efforts this year - it doesn't have the votes needed to pass the chamber. "We're moving forward and we'll see what happens".
Republicans can only afford to lose two votes in order to pass the bill before a deadline on September 30. Several others from across the conference have also expressed misgivings.
The changes, unveiled Sunday, come in the wake of Arizona Sen.
Prospects for the bill are uncertain as a decisive handful of Republicans remain opposed to the measure proposed by Sens. The changes move some of those dollars around. Without the low-density provision, all Medicaid expansion states would get less funding than others.
Mitchell Stein, an independent ME policy expert, said over the long term, "Maine and every other state would lose money by these huge funding cliffs". As of last week, Graham-Cassidy accomplished this by letting states seek waiversfrom some of Obamacare's requirements.
A table says Arizona would get 14 percent more money than under President Barack Obama's law, Kentucky 4 percent more and Texas 49 percent more.
This is the one and only open hearing scheduled on the Graham-Cassidy bill, an unusual process that opponents of the bill, like Sen.
"While a per capita cap structure would make it easy for the federal government to dial down Medicaid growth rates to achieve savings, this in turn will shift added burdens onto the states", the letter states.
"Graham-Cassidy will have a profound adverse impact on the Kansas health system and the Kansans who rely on it", the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas said in a statement to the Senate committee. McCain has urged a resumption of the Senate health committee's effort to craft a bipartisan bill to stabilize the individual insurance market, which was derailed by the renewed repeal drive. "Without John McCain, we already have the health care".
Asked if his bill was dead, Cassidy said "I don't know that". Senators will not receive the CBO's estimates on overall coverage or premium changes until later - nearly certainly after any vote that might take place. "They have tightened up half the problem with the switch from "intends" to "shall, ' but the standard that they have to achieve is incredibly vague, so I'm not convinced that this imposes meaningful constraints in practice".