Since the election of Donald Trump as president, and even before, it has been a main objective of the successful candidate programs to replace the law after it has been repealed.
The Cassidy-Graham Obamacare repeal bill is the latest attempt at replacing Obamacare and it is still questionable whether it will enough to get the necessary votes needed. The Republicans can only afford to lose two votes, and Senator Paul Rand has already come out against it.
The special Senate budget rules expire on September 30, which is a pressing factor in the urgency of coming up with a solution. Republicans have less than two weeks left to repeal and replace Obamacare with just 51 votes. This will be the Republicans last shot at passing a bill.
A previous attempt at passing a similar Obamacare replacement bill failed in the Senate because Republican moderates couldn’t support the big individual health insurance market subsidy and Medicaid expansion cuts from Obamacare in prior efforts. The Cassidy-Graham bill would cut these subsidies and the Medicaid expansion about as much as those prior efforts.
There are still hopes that this bill will pass. At least one of the no votes from the previous attempt to pass a bill, Dean Heller of Nevada is a co-sponsor of this bill. Also, Senator John McCain who had opposed previous bills has indicated that he could vote for this version, and likely would partly because of his close friendship with co-author Lindsey Graham.
This new bill has the potential to make the health insurance markets better with the flexibility granted to the states that would hopefully improve some of the problems with Obamacare. States would not have the option of staying with Obamacare, which would be gone in twenty-seven months.
Health care has been a long-standing problem for the government and it remains one of the biggest challenges. There is no doubt that regardless of whether Obamacare is repealed or not the debate will continue.