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Senate's bad medicine gets worse with new health care bill

26 September 2017

With the latest Republican health care overhaul teetering near collapse, one group in particular is watching with heightened anxiety.

The idea behind this bill - whose lead sponsors are Sens. Lindsey Graham, doesn't reflect the wishes of constituents.

In the short term, billions of health care dollars would effectively be transferred from states that participated in Medicaid expansion, such as California, to states that did not, such as Texas. They're willing to wreak havoc on the insurance markets, state governments and people's lives to get it.

In Illinois, about 88 percent of the funding for the children's program comes from the federal government - about $218 million in fiscal year 2017, according to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

In a letter sent to members of the Senate Sunday by the National Farmers Union, President Roger Johnson urged legislators to vote against the plan, known as Graham-Cassidy, and stated NFU's intent to score the vote. And it features several new and devastating wrinkles. A state could seek a waiver for people with pre-existing medical conditions so that they could be placed in a high-cost, high-risk pool.

Reinstate lifetime coverage caps. The bill says the states have to describe how they intend to maintain access to affordable coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, but it doesn't guarantee that access. They have poured a lot of time and money into developing the policy infrastructure to design health-care plans and get them passed. But states will be able to allow insurers to set prices based on a person's health or tailor benefits to discourage people with costly conditions from signing up.

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In fact, the bill penalizes states who expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare by taking money now going to those states, dividing it among all 50 states, and capping it.

Durbin said the children's health program isn't the only program seemingly on hold while Republicans push a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. These are replaced with block grants that are cut by a third in 2026; they are then totally eliminated by 2027.

"Insurance companies are making poor decisions, denying certain tests and raising prices", said Girgis.

End the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act that help people afford coverage. Now the nation is staring down the barrel of a plan that would leave an estimated 32 million people uninsured, according to independent analysts.

What could give the bill a swift burial is a score from the Congressional Budget Office. With Democrats united in opposition, the only way Republicans can revive the bill is to alter it in ways they hope will change opposing senators' minds. Before that deadline, the bill needs only 50 votes in the Senate, plus Vice President Mike Pence's tiebreaker.

The legislation reportedly contains a provision that would send additional money to Alaska, a detail that has critics of the bill claiming that the Graham and Cassidy are trying to secure the vote of uncommitted Republican Alaska Sen.

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An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation last week shows Kentucky's Medicaid program would lose more than $5.3 billion. Changes were made to the legislation over the weekend and released Sunday night .

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, based his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination a year ago on a single-payer system.

The latest GOP effort appeared to be doomed late Monday when Republican Sen.

According to the OPM analysis, on average, an individual in CT could expect to pay at least $3,300 or more in premiums each year without the federal tax credits and $1,000 more in out-of-pocket costs per year beginning in 2020. That effort has been shut down for the moment. Even though the majority of rural residents are in non-expansion states, a higher proportion of rural residents are covered by Medicaid (21 percent compared to 16 percent).

The odds of the GOP passing Cassidy-Graham dropped dramatically with McCain's departure.

The Cassidy-Graham bill is really, really bad.

The MDLinx survey found just over 48% of physicians polled would support a single payer system, even though they thought it would lower their income and could possibly reduce the quality of care for their patients. My priorities remain on rescuing American families from the collapse of Obamacare and reviving the free market. For a Legislature for whom a budget seems to be beyond its grasp, how much faith can anyone have in their ability to create a system of effective health care?

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Senate's bad medicine gets worse with new health care bill