Robert Lowe – September 13, 2017
A group of Senate Republicans today introduced yet another bill that would largely repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this time around by giving block grants to states to enact their own healthcare reforms.
The money for the block grants would come from what the federal government now spends on the ACA.
The legislation goes by the names of its four sponsors ― Sen. Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-LA); Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI).
“If you believe repealing and replacing Obamacare is a good idea, this is your best and only hope,” said Graham at a press conference today. “Everything else has failed except this approach.”
Graham warned that if Republicans fail to pass his bill, a single-payer system like the kind proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Democratic allies was inevitable.
The block grants under the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill would replace current ACA expenditures on Medicaid expansion, premium subsidies for health plans bought on insurance exchanges, cost-sharing subsidies, and the so-called Basic Health Program for low-income individuals that some states have adopted. States could use the block grants to contract with insurers to encourage their participation in the exchanges, subsidize premiums and out-of-pocket costs for individuals, pay physicians and hospitals, support their Medicaid programs, and create high-risk and reinsurance pools.