After a dramatic series of failed Senate votes, Republicans are making last-ditch efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with a simple majority vote. One such effort is the Graham-Cassidy bill, which will go the Senate floor next week.
Now in response to the bill, sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy, all 50 Medicaid directors have come out against Republicans and have warned the repeal bill would place a massive burden on states.
The National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) said in a statement, “Taken together, the per-capita caps and the envisioned block grant would constitute the largest intergovernmental transfer of financial risk from the federal government to the states in our country's history.”
The statement further reads that the repeal bill “does not provide clear and powerful statutory reforms within the underlying Medicaid program commensurate with proposed funding reductions.”
The Graham-Cassidy bill in 2020 would end the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which many Democratic-governed states had carried out while many Republican-governed states did not, and limit overall federal spending on the five-decade-old program regardless of how many Americans qualify for its benefits.
“The scope of this work, and the resources required to support state planning and implementation activities, cannot be overstated. States will need to develop overall strategies, invest in infrastructure development, systems changes, provider and managed care plan contracting, and perform a host of other activities,” read the statement.
The directors further said, “The vast majority of states will not be able to do so within the two-year timeframe envisioned here, especially considering the apparent lack of federal funding in the bill to support these critical activities.”
With no Democratic support for the bill, Republicans remain a handful of votes short in the Senate, needing 51 votes in a 100-seat chamber they control 52-48, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a potential tie-breaking vote.
Sen. Rand Paul opposes the repeal bill and at least six other senators, including John McCain, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, Rob Portman and Jerry Moran, are undecided.
If passed, the bill will cause an estimated 32 million people to lose coverage by 2027.
BREAKING: The bipartisan Medicaid Directors from all 50 states just issued this negative statement about Graham-Cassidy.— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) September 22, 2017
Big. Very unusual. pic.twitter.com/ZtqaAI8hg1
This is a craven and cruel bill. All 50 state directors of Medicaid agree it will hurt millions. https://t.co/56uTlVZiPU— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) September 22, 2017
Banner: Reuters, Aaron P. Bernstein