Why Congress Cannot Agree on Health Care Reform

Why is health care in the US so expensive

Senate Republicans will not vote on Graham-Cassidy, a GOP health care replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Lindsey Graham, R- SC and Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, would have reorganized how the federal government manages health care by redirecting funds from Medicaid and other subsidies from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) into block grants that states could use for more locally based health care programs.

But Republican leaders announced Tuesday they would not call the repeal bill for a vote because it didn't have the support needed to pass.

The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill, if implemented, could lead to $240 billion in lost economic activity by 2027 and impact 580,000 jobs, the report indicated, CNBC reported.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) derailed an Obamacare repeal last week when he announced that he will oppose the bill. Susan Collins became the third Republican senator to officially oppose the bill - eventually killing its chances of passing. Republican Senator Rand Paul nailed it in a remarkably candid NPR interview last week: "The whole thing has nothing to do with repeal".

Due to their narrow majority and unified Democratic opposition, Republicans can lose just two GOP votes and still push the legislation through the Senate.

A last-ditch effort by the White House and Republican leadership to repeal Obamacare by a looming September 30 deadline might well have been killed by U.S. Sen.

If the GOP-controlled Congress wants to repeal the ACA, it will now need to garner Democratic support, or pass a new budget.

President Donald Trump called Obamacare a "disaster" and urged GOP leaders to repeal and replace it, saying he will sign any such bill that lands on his desk.

"Under the health care system we now have, too many insurance companies continue to value their profits more than they value the people they're supposed to be helping", she said. "We're going to have time to explain our concept", Sen.

Graham charged, "To my Republican colleagues, we're going to fulfill our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare".

The news came after Sen. Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate.

"The problem is, I don't know that we can keep them separate, just to be frank", Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican and chairman of the archconservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters at a Conversations with Conservatives event moderated by the Heritage Foundation. It would return us all to a Wild West market in which insurance companies could discriminate against patients with pre-existing conditions, charging them more or imposing lifetime and annual benefit caps that render coverage useless to anyone that actually gets sick.

"We're coming back to this after taxes", Mr. Bill Cassidy, a co-sponsor of the bill, said during an afternoon briefing on Capitol Hill.

The bill would have also given a smaller amount than now spent on premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion to states in the form of a block grants.

Even as the talk of repeal continued, however, a key Republican committee chairman said late Tuesday that he would seek to resume negotiations with Democrats on a more limited bipartisan package.

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