Despite last-minute revisions to the new Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill on Sunday, which are an effort to make it more palatable to GOP holdouts, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) still isn’t happy.
A spokesperson for Paul’s office confirmed on Monday that he still doesn’t intend to vote for the ObamaCare repeal bill after reviewing its latest version.
The new healthcare bill would undo central components of ObamaCare and would replace it with block grants — or federal funds — to states.
One of the bill’s co-authors, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), reportedly circulated a chart on Sunday of the recent revisions, which showed Alaska receiving 3 percent more funding and Maine receiving 43 percent more. The chart said the legislation’s grants would provide 14 percent more for Arizona than under Obama’s law, 4 percent more for Kentucky and 49 percent more for Texas.
Paul has been angry that the bill leaves in 90 percent of the law’s taxes to fund the $1.2 trillion in block grants from 2020 to 2026. He said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that the only way he would vote for it is if the block grants were severely reduced.
The bill would let states set their own coverage requirements, allow insurers to boost prices on people with serious medical conditions, put an end to President Obama’s mandates that most Americans buy insurance and that companies offer coverage to workers, and cut and reshape Medicaid.
Reuters reported that the Senate Finance Committee plans to hold a hearing on Monday in an attempt to show that Democrats are wrong in their criticism. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is also expected to produce a preliminary analysis of the bill’s impact on budget deficits.
Republicans are desperate to pass the bill before Sunday, which is when protections expire against a Democratic filibuster. White House legislative liaison Marc Short and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the other co-author of the bill, are urging their colleagues to go ahead with a vote this week in order to retain their slim Senate majority on the legislation.
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