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GOP changes Graham-Cassidy bill to win over wary senators

Senate Republicans on Sunday night circulated a revised draft of their bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, aiming to win over key holdout senators. 

According to estimates of the state-by-state impacts obtained by The Hill along with the revised bill, Maine and Arizona would see boosts in funding. Alaska would see a small drop in federal funding. 

The analysis from the backers of the bill argues that after taking into account money the state would save on its Medicaid program, Alaska would gain relative to current law. But Democrats argue that is misleading and say what matters is that Alaska would see a cut in federal funding.

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Those states are home to three holdouts on the bill, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand FCC to officially rescind net neutrality rules on Thursday MORE (R-Maine), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe siren of Baton Rouge Interior plan to use drilling funds for new projects met with skepticism The 14 GOP senators who voted against Trump’s immigration framework MORE (R-Alaska). 

However, it is far from clear that the revisions would be enough to win their support. Collins has a long list of concerns, including an overhaul of the Medicaid program. McCain has denounced the process as rushed and lacking bipartisanship. 

The state-by-state analysis projects a 3 percent increase in funding for Alaska, a 43 percent increase for Maine and a 14 percent increase for Arizona. 

It is possible, though, that independent analyses of the impacts of the bill will be different than this analysis from backers of the bill.

Some experts point out that the numbers do not appear to take into account a separate cap on Medicaid spending in the bill, which would lead to further cuts to federal funding to states.  

The overall bill is largely the same as the earlier version. It still converts ObamaCare's subsidies and Medicaid expansion dollars into a block grant for states. 

It also allows states to waive ObamaCare protections against people with pre-existing conditions getting charged more, an area at the center of controversy around the bill. 

“Despite an attempt to appear to add money for a select few states, this bill is just as bad for those states and the rest of the states because it still contains a massive cut to Medicaid, and would throw our health insurance system into chaos while raising premiums," Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said in a statement. "It still takes away protections for those with preexisting conditions and further weakens consumer protections."

The measure is headed toward a possible vote this week ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline for using a special budgetary process that prevents a Democratic filibuster. However, it has extremely long odds. McCain and Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDem wins Kentucky state House seat in district Trump won by 49 points GOP's tax reform bait-and-switch will widen inequality Pentagon budget euphoria could be short-lived MORE (R-Ky.) are against it, and Collins has said it is hard for her to envision voting for it. 

Republicans can only lose two votes and still pass the bill with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Pence.