Family Voices Washington DC Update: September 20, 2017
The health care political landscape has shifted dramatically since last week. At that point, it seemed that the White House and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had given up on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, it appears that the Senate might be only one or two YES votes away from the 50 votes needed to pass a bill developed and promoted by Senators Cassidy (R-LA) and Graham (R-SC). In terms of changing the federal role in health care, that bill goes even further than the bills rejected by the Senate in July. The White House is actively promoting the bill. Health care provider and patient groups, and Senate Democrats, strongly oppose it. For procedural reasons, the Senate must act on the bill no later than September 30, but the House can act after that and is expected to take up the bill if it passes the Senate. In other news, Senators Hatch (R-UT) and Wyden (D-OR) have released a bipartisan bill to extend CHIP funding for five more years, Senator Sanders and 16 Democrats introduced a "Medicare for All" bill to create a federal single-payer health care system, and Senators Alexander (R-TN) and Murray (D-WA) are still trying to work out a bipartisan agreement to stabilize the individual insurance market (which will be moot if the Graham-Cassidy bill becomes law).
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