Obamacare wrecking crew has new legislative wrinkles | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 25, 2017

Obamacare wrecking crew has new legislative wrinkles

Posted By on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 8:11 AM

Backers of the Graham-Cassidy legislation to repeal Obamacare are madly trying to amend the bill to win over enough Republican senators for passage.

The plan:

* Payola for Alaska, Kentucky, Arizona and Maine, with senators deeply skeptical.

* Absolute clarity that states may end the guarantees of coverage of pre-existing medical conditions without penalty.

* The end of Medicaid over time as we know it.

* No independent assessment of the legislation by the Congressional Budget Office before a vote. No meaningful debate.

* Disingenuous depictions of money provided by the legislation.

Axios lays out the details here. They amount to another debunking of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's insistence that the bill isn't bad for Arkansas, which has led the nation in providing health security to its people through adoption of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. Hutchinson is already intent on cutting beneficiaries by 20 percent or more and is apparently comfortable with still more draconian cuts. Why he hasn't gotten some special treatment for Arkansas, after claiming a vital role in the shaping of the bill, is a question someone might ask him at Central High this morning. (Along with "When will Little Rock get its schools back?")

From Axios:

According to Graham and Cassidy's analysis, the revised bill would direct more money to Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky and Maine, compared with earlier versions. But it would still reduce overall federal funding to those states — whose Republican senators are, for now, opposed to the bill or undecided.

Although the state-by-state numbers being circulated show these states faring well, the Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt called them "pretty misleading," as they don't take into account the per-person cap on federal Medicaid funding. They also add state savings to the block grants under the bill, but don't include them in the current law baseline, meaning the comparison isn't apples to apples.

The revisions also ramped up some of the regulatory rollbacks needed to help win conservative votes. Sen. Ted Cruz said earlier today that he's not yet on board with the legislation.

More here from Vox on the chaos this bill would cause.

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