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.
ADVERTISEMENT

Those states are home to three holdouts on the bill, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden clarifies his remarks on Russia Effort to overhaul archaic election law wins new momentum Bipartisan lawmakers announce climate adaptation bill MORE (R-Maine), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Redistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Bipartisan lawmakers announce climate adaptation bill 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 PaulThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 I'm furious about Democrats taking the blame — it's time to fight back Rand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN 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.