Following last month’s failure to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Senate Republicans are looking towards a proposal by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Dean Heller (R-NV) as a possible path forward to achieve the promise of repeal and replace. This proposal was first introduced as an amendment to the Senate’s failed Better Care Reconciliation Act, but never received a vote.
As currently drafted, the proposed bill:
In order to build support for this proposal, Sen. Cassidy has been meeting with President Trump and his aides, as well as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma.
CDH provisions included in the current version
CDH provisions not currently included
Timing of a vote, and can it pass under Budget Reconciliation?
At this time, the proposed bill is still undergoing revisions and has not yet been officially introduced and given a bill number. Therefore, it remains unclear if the bill will gain enough support in the Senate for it to be brought to the floor for a vote. But, it is widely seen as the best – if not only – path forward for Republicans to attempt another ACA repeal/replace vote without Democratic support this year.
As currently written, this bill is unlikely to garner the Democratic support needed to pass with 60 votes in the Senate; it does include cuts to Medicaid. This means Republicans would once again attempt to pass an ACA repeal/replace bill under Budget Reconciliation, allowing them to pass it with only 51 votes. However, under Senate rules a bill cannot be passed under Budget Reconciliation until it has been “scored” by the CBO. This will delay the Senate’s vote until the end of September, if it is held at all.
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