A Second Wind

us_congressThe latest effort to repeal Obamacare is picking up steam and the new plan, commonly known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, could be voted on within the next two weeks.

From Reuters.com:

The U.S. Senate’s top Republican on Tuesday urged quick action on a bill to repeal Obamacare but stopped short of promising to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote, as the clock ticks down on the latest attempt to kill the 2010 healthcare law.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s Republican leader, called the legislation drafted by senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy “an intriguing idea and one that has a great deal of support.”

The bill has revived a fight that many in Washington thought was over when an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill flopped in the Senate in July, humiliating McConnell and President Donald Trump.

According to U.S News & World Report, “The bill proposes replacing Obamacare with a system that would give states money in block grants to run their own healthcare programs and let them opt out of some Obamacare rules. Critics say it would bring deep cuts to the Medicaid program for the poor and higher insurance premiums for older people.”

ABC15 in Phoenix pointed out that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey could play a major role in the future of the bill.

Governor Doug Ducey was heavily involved with crafting this bill. Over the summer he met with Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, whose name is on the bill. 

Ducey and other Republican governors helped with this new plan, but Ducey has been tight-lipped about what he fought for and how it would impact the state. 

Essentially it would end the Medicaid expansion in Arizona. That gave insurance to about 400,000 low-incomeArizonans. 

It would also replace Medicaid funding which covers almost two million Arizonans. Individuals would no longer be required to have insurance and employers wouldn’t have to provide it either. 

The tax breaks given to low-income people would be eliminated. In its place would be funding for block grants. 

flakeSenator Jeff Flake tweeted that the plan has his support while Senator John McCain…..well, pinning down his position is a bit more complicated. According to the Phoenix New Times:

McCain teased everybody Monday by first saying he might “reluctantly” vote for the bill if Governor Doug Ducey supports it, which Ducey does. But, according to CNBC, McCain said hours later “I’m not supportive of the bill, yet.”

gvArizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) President & CEO Greg Vigdor said he has concerns about the bill “particularly as to how if may affect the patients, people and communities of our state.”  Mr. Vigdor plans to speak with the Governor and other state leaders to dig a little deeper and ascertain more specifics about how Arizonans will be impacted in both the short and long-term.

Given that this bill could determine the future path of health and health care in our state, we would love to hear what you think about it. Whether you agree or disagree with our position – we believe it is important to keep the lines of communication open.  After all, making sure we can openly and honestly discuss the key health issues that affect the people of our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

One thought on “A Second Wind

  1. I can only believe these Republicans that want to take away healthcare for so many vulnerable people are ok with genocide for many will certainly die without healthcare. It is unfathomable to me how people can be this inhumane to their fellow citizens. I truly pray you are successful with getting enough people to listen to reason and there is no vote at all or, if there is, that the Affordable Care Act is kept in place. Yes, it does need to be fixed. One way of fixing the healthcare in this country is to have Medicare for All including Veterans. Perhaps some of that money just allocated for the Military can be used for healthcare.

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