Additional funding added to healthcare bill for states of hold-out senators


A last-ditch effort by the GOP to repeal ObamaCare, titled the “Graham-Cassidy” bill, has been revised with the hopes of winning support from three senators who are withholding their support.

The states of Alaska, Arizona, and Kentucky all would have experienced declines in federal funding under the original version of the bill.

Now, under a new revision to the proposal, the states are projected to experience increases in federal funding: Arizona (14 percent), Kentucky (4 percent) and Alaska (3 percent).

Also, Alaska would benefit from Sec. 129, which allows the state with the highest separate poverty guideline to receive a 25 percent increase in federal matching funds for Medicaid.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, and others allied with the new bill are trying to get it passed before a Sep. 30 deadline, when their ability to pass repeal with a simple majority will expire. After the deadline, Republicans will need 60 votes, instead of 50, in order to pass a repeal of ObamaCare.

Senators John McCain (Ariz.) and Rand Paul (Ky.) have both said they will not support the bill, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) has expressed concerns about the bill.

On Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz announced he doesn’t support the bill, and indicated that Sen. Mike Lee of Utah was also in opposition.

Revisions in the Graham-Cassidy bill would also give states more freedom to do away with federal insurance regulations, allowing states to lift the current caps on out-of-pocket costs and giving insurance companies the freedom to offer more “bare-bones” health plans as an option to healthy customers who are willing to accept high deductibles in exchange for cheaper premiums.

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