GOP Senate’s Last-Ditch, Secretive Health Care Repeal

This week, Senate Republicans begin their final, last-ditch secretive effort to ram a health care repeal vote through Congress. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill is just as terrible as every previous failed attempt to take health care away from millions – but it is reportedly only one vote away from passage.

The CBO concluded that Republicans’ repeated efforts to repeal and sabotage the ACA is limiting access to care and causing premiums to increase across the country.

CBO: “That increase in enrollment in 2018 is limited by projected premium increases due to near-term market uncertainty and by announced reductions in federal advertising, outreach, the enrollment period, and other enrollment efforts, which push enrollment down.”

Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson is more of the same: It would destabilize our health care system, gut Medicaid, increase costs and take away health care from millions.

Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: “In reality, however, the Cassidy-Graham bill would have the same harmful consequences as those prior bills. It would cause many millions of people to lose coverage, radically restructure and deeply cut Medicaid, and increase out-of-pocket costs for individual market consumers.”

Graham-Cassidy Heller-Johnson would cut federal health care funding for all states by 2027, including massive cuts to the bill sponsor’s own states. In 2027 alone:

Arizona: $6.9 billion cut

Nevada: $2.7 billion cut

Wisconsin: $2.9 billion cut

Texas: $11.9 billion cut

Louisiana: $7.2 billion cut

West Virginia: $2 billion cut

South Carolina: $2.7 billion cut

Florida: $17.8 billion cut

Iowa: $2.3 billion cut

Tennessee: $3.2 billion cut

Arkansas: $3.9 billion cut

Colorado: $3.8 billion cut

Ohio: $10.2 billion cut

Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson is a secretive, partisan effort to force a bill through Congress at the last minute. It is the exact opposite of GOP Senators’ calls to work in a bipartisan, transparent process following the last failed attempt to repeal the ACA:

Senator Lisa Murkowski: “As I’ve been saying, the Senate should take a step back and engage in a bipartisan process to address the failures of the ACA and stabilize individual markets.”

Senator John McCain: “I argued during the health-care debate for a return to regular order, letting committees of jurisdiction do the principal work of crafting legislation and letting the full Senate debate and amend their efforts.”

Senator Susan Collins: “On Sept. 6 and 7, Alexander’s committee will hear testimony from state insurance commissioners and Republican and Democratic governors, including Gov. Charlie Baker, R-Mass., and Gov. Steve Bullock, D-Mont., about how to improve the ACA. ‘I will be very active,’ Collins said. ‘This is what we should have done in the first place. Bring in the experts, bring in the witnesses and let’s figure this out.’”

Planned Parenthood, AARP, unions, and hospital and physician groups all oppose the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill, saying it’s the worst repeal yet:

AARP: “AARP stands ready to work with Congress on commonsense, bipartisan solutions to improve health care. #GrahamCassidy is not that bill.”

America’s Essential Hospitals: “Dr. Bruce Siegel, the group’s president and CEO, said in a statement the bill ‘would shift costs to states, patients, providers, and taxpayers.’ ‘Further, by taking an approach so close to that of the earlier House and Senate plans, it’s reasonable to conclude it would have a similar result: millions of Americans losing coverage,’ he added.”

Planned Parenthood: “The Graham-Cassidy-Heller proposal is the worst ACA repeal bill yet, and it is especially terrible for women. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller proposal would disproportionately impact low-income women and women of color.”

American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association, and American Psychiatric Association: “Our organizations, which represent over 560,000 physicians, oppose the new Graham-Cassidy bill and its approach to reforming our health care system. The proposal fails to protect the health care coverage and consumer protections available under current law. Additionally, it would create a health care system built on state-by-state variability that would exacerbate inequities in coverage and most likely place millions of vulnerable individuals at risk of losing their health care coverage.”

SEIU: “#CassidyGraham is a last-ditch effort to go back to a damaging, secretive & partisan approach to repeal the ACA and take away our care.”