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Michigan hospitals call new Republican health care plan "unacceptable"

Sep 20, 2017

Michigan hospitals are coming out against the Republicans’ latest plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The new bill, sponsored by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, would replace Obamacare with a system that gives states more control.

An independent study finds most states would take a stiff budgetary hit if that bill becomes law.

The consulting firm Avalere Health says the Graham-Cassidy bill would lead to an overall $215 billion cut in federal health insurance aid to states through 2026.

The cuts would total more than $4 trillion assuming the legislation passes and remains on the books, said the analysis released Wednesday. The bill limits federal Medicaid funding.

Laura Appel of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association says it’s not a good plan for Michigan.

“This would take billions of dollars away from Michigan’s Medicaid program.  At the same time, it would reduce the protections of the Affordable Care Act,” says Appel.

“I think it’s rather disingenuous to say ‘Don’t worry.  We’re just putting this back on the states,’ and at the same time taking away as much as $8 billion from [Michigan] between now and 2026.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to bring a GOP health care bill to the Senate floor next week.

The Graham-Cassidy bill would repeal central elements of former President Barack Obama's health care law. States would get block grants for health coverage instead.

Republicans must vote on the bill by the end of next week, or lose access to special budget rules that prevent Democrats from filibustering.

Michigan’s two Democratic U.S. Senators oppose the new plan.