Three no votes means it’s dead.
Welp, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tried to change their Obamacare “repeal and replace” bill to appease those senators that opposed it…but it did not work.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has come out and officially declared she would vote no on both versions of the bill.
Republicans fell into a panic when Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and John McCain (R-AZ) gave their definite nos on the bill, leaving the vote at 50-50.
Collins had always been leaning no, but with this statement, the bill is officially dead. From The New York Times:
“Health care is a deeply personal, complex issue that affects every single one of us and one-sixth of the American economy. Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target,” Ms. Collins said in the statement.
“Today, we find out that there is now a fourth version of the Graham-Cassidy proposal, which is as deeply flawed as the previous iterations,” she said. “The fact that a new version of this bill was released the very week we are supposed to vote compounds the problem.”
She added: “This is simply not the way that we should be approaching an important and complex issue that must be handled thoughtfully and fairly for all Americans.”
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 25, 2017
Paul spoke to reporters on Monday to announce that the revision did not win him over. From Talking Points Memo:
“If you’re going to say the whole country is short of money, which we are … everybody should get the same thing,” he told reporters Monday afternoon, ripping the last-second cash infusions Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have made for states like Kentucky and Alaska, home of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a key undecided vote. “No, it doesn’t seem right.”
Paul made it clear he’s still strongly opposed to the bill, both because of the process and the policy.
“I’m just not for a trillion-dollar grant program that keeps most of the Obamacare spending,” he said. “This is thrown together sort of in a slipshod way … A lot of this is about electoral politics.”
And he made it clear the basic structure of the bill is unacceptable to him.
“In my mind a compromise does not include block grants,” he said. “I just don’t think this is repeal. … I believe that it represents Republicans accepting a trillion dollars of Obamacare spending.”
Earlier today, Cassidy and Graham released a newer version of the bill that added more money to the states of those who either said no or leaned no: Arizona, Kentucky, Maine, and Alaska. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) wasn’t sold on the bill either, but she never said yes or no.
The Washington Post reported that Alaska would receive “3 percent more funding between 2020 and 2026 than under current law, and Maine would get 43 percent more funding during that time period.” CNBC discussed the changes to Arizona and Kentucky:
Arizona would gain $4.2 billion under the new draft calculations, roughly 14 percent, compared with a loss of $19 billion under the original plan. Maine stood to lose $2 billion between 2020-2027, but under the revised draft would gain nearly $1.5 billion. Kentucky would go from losing roughly $11 billion compared with Obamacare, to gaining $1.1 billion or 4 percent.
Collins appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning and told host Jake Tapper that “[I]t’s very difficult for me to envision a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill.” She also said that she’s waiting for the CBO score to come out, which should happen today. Collins expressed concern for protections of those with pre-existing conditions and the costs of premiums and deductibles.DONATE
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