The Republicans are at it again: they are trying to repeal the ACA and replace it with something much, much worse. The latest attempt is called the Graham-Cassidy bill—after Senators Bill Cassidy (late of “Kimmel test” fame—but that’s out the window with this proposal) and Lindsey Graham. It is another cruel tax cut for the wealthy that will not even be completely scored by the CBO before the deadline to vote on the bill by the end of the month.
Why the rush? Once again, it is partisan politics at its worst. September 30 is the deadline for using a specific budget reconciliation process that would allow Republicans to pass this legislation in the Senate without any Democratic support with just 51 votes.
Even so, just 3 Republican “No” votes would kill it. And even Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, is against it. Tell Rob Portman he should be one of those “No” votes.
- Repeal the expansion of Medicaid
- Fundamentally change Medicaid into state block grants, and even these would be phased out by 2027
- End subsidies for out-of-pocket costs for low earners
- Repeal taxes on the top earners and drug companies that are used to pay for the ACA
- Repeal the employer and individual mandate – employers would no longer be required to provide healthcare, and healthy people could drop out of the market leaving a pool of sicker people with higher costs (and premiums)
- Reduce the federal commitment to states like Ohio that expanded Medicaid to give more funds to states that did not
- Under the guise of “flexibility” states would be allowed to waive
- essential health benefit protections
- prohibitions on annual and lifetime limits
- prohibitions on setting costs by health history
- coverage for people with pre-existing conditions
- limits on how much more the elderly can be charged compared to the young
In other words, this bill might be worse than any of the previous GOP health care alternatives. Senators won’t know exactly how bad it could be, though, because the rushed process will not allow for a full CBO score that includes how many will lose coverage or how much premiums will cost for those who are covered.
Rob Portman has been a partisan in the healthcare battle so far. Now it’s time for him to stand up for Ohioans and vote NO on this terrible bill.