WUOMFM

Michigan's congressional delegation divided over latest ACA repeal & replace bill

Sep 24, 2017

The U.S. Senate takes up a bill to replace the Affordable Care Act this week.    

Under the bill, states would assume greater control over health care, and Obamacare coverage mandates could be waived for people with pre-existing conditions.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, still thinks there's a path forward for a last-ditch effort to end Obamacare, even after his friend, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he opposes the bill.

Speaking on ABC's This Week, Graham said Republicans are moving forward with a bill he co-sponsored with Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate and can only afford to lose two votes. Michigan’s two Democratic U.S. Senators are on record opposing the latest Republican repeal and replace Obamacare bill.

Graham mentioned Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Rand Paul, R-Kentucky. Paul has said he's a "no" and Collins said on CNN Sunday she finds it "very difficult" to see herself backing the bill.

Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, believes giving states more control is the right approach.

“I think it has a lot of positives,” says Moolenaar. “We’ll see if they can garner the votes to make it pass.   But I think it would receive a very favorable reception in the House.”

The nation's doctors, hospitals and health insurance plans are unified in their opposition to the latest Republican bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

In a joint statement on Saturday, major groups such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association called on the Senate to reject the bill sponsored by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy.

The groups say, "Health care is too important to get wrong."

They warn that under the bill patients and consumers would lose important protections, and those with significant illnesses would be charged higher premiums and may not be able to buy coverage.

They also say the cuts to Medicaid would cause millions of Americans to lose their coverage -- and the changes would weaken individual insurance markets, making coverage more costly.

By one estimate, Michigan could also lose up to $8 billion in Medicaid funding over the next decade.