Republicans are making a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace Obama’s health care law. As time runs out on a special procedure that prevents a Senate filibuster, the GOP is attempting to rally support for a new plan that overhauls Obamacare. The party is aiming for 50 votes before the end of the month.
The proposed overhaul would give power to the states through a block grant scheme.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” said Senator Bill Cassidy, who has worked with Senator Lindsey Graham to push the bill.. “We are giving the power over health care to the states, not DC.”
While the bill has gained support from many Republicans, not everyone is on board with the legislation.
“I can’t support a bill that keeps 90 percent of Obamacare in place,” said Senator Rand Paul. Paul has called the bill “Obamacare Lite.”
The Cassidy-Graham legislation, like many other Republican plans, does not repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill leaves much of the foundation of the law in place.
The proposed overhaul would remove the penalties under employer and individual mandates while phasing out taxes enacted under the law. Perhaps the biggest change would be providing block grant money to states. It would be up to the states to determine the best way to use the grants for health care.
“We need to return the power back to the states and patients,” tweeted Bill Cassidy.
Democrats spent much of the weekend mobilizing opposition.
“This week we need to be focused on defeating the Graham-Cassidy bill. It would end the Affordable Care Act,” said California Senator Kamala Harris.
The GOP has until September 30, when the budget reconciliation runs out, to pass the bill. The bill is still on the Senate calendar. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, could call a vote at any time.