Yet another attempt to repeal the ACA has been prevented! Last week, Senate Republicans gave up holding a floor vote of the Graham-Cassidy bill (at least for now). The Senate had until September 30 to pass repeal and replace legislation with a simple majority under budget reconciliation instructions. The bill sought to block grant Medicaid, gut pre-existing conditions provisions, and eliminate the income-based subsidies for health plan sold in Exchanges. Most advocacy groups and professional organizations opposed the bill, including children and families on Medicaid. There weren’t enough votes to pass the bill, with Republican Senators raising concerns about both the process and the provisions. Senator Graham maintains that the Senate will revisit the bill after they tackle tax reform, so unfortunately, it still isn’t over.
Now attention shifts back to the bipartisan effort of the Senate Health Committee to come up with a short-term fix. Our own Senator Murray (D), along with Senator Alexander (R) from Tennessee, are leading this effort. We hope the short-term fix includes, at a minimum, the following recommendations from many advocates and health policy leaders: