Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) - and former Sen. The new GOP legislation would send health care funding to the states to help residents purchase non-group coverage and for Medicaid, but opponents of.
The Senate's recently failed repeal and replace bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), was nearly universally loathed, with only 17 percent approval from Americans.
The bill faces long odds: Even some of its GOP backers say it would be nearly impossible to get a massive rewrite of the health care system through the Senate within 17 days, or before the expiration of fast-track procedural powers Republicans hope to use to bypass the threat of a Democratic filibuster. In addition to eliminating Medicaid expansion funding, the bill retains the same per capita cap funding structure included in the Senate's previous Better Care Reconciliation Act, a provision estimated to result in billions of dollars in federal cuts to the program. Lindsey Graham of SC and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and co-sponsored by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and various Democrats to unveil a new single-payer bill that would cover all Americans under a more comprehensive version of Medicare.
Graham presented his bill as the main alternative to a universal health care plan to be released later Wednesday by Independent Sen.
Trump has repeatedly blasted Senate Republicans, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in particular, for failing to finally "repeal and replace" the 2010 law this year, despite myriad promises to do so. Graham-Cassidy defunds Planned Parenthood and redirects the money to community health centers.
Many states would get more money under the bill than they do now. 12 other senators have signed onto Sanders' bill.
"With Heller and Trump repeatedly trying to take this away, all they're doing is giving more insecurity to the insurance companies, more insecurity to people that rely on the ACA and Medicaid", Merlino said.
One thing is known for sure, Sanders has brought forth, even with a lack of details, the most popular single-payer bill to hit the national political stage.
Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has urged a more bipartisan approach to reforming the health care system to avoid partisan overhauls with each change of presidential administrations.
If the plan is to work, it must first get a "score" from the Congressional Budget Office to determine if it would reduce the federal deficit over 10 years.
"Here's my challenge to the Republican leadership: Act like this matters, because it does", Graham said.
By making so many funding and coverage issues subject to future state decisions, the bill will make it hard for the CBO to estimate its impact.