Healthcare

March of Dimes, American Heart Association oppose new Senate repeal-and-replace bill

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The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association and the March of Dimes on Monday came out in opposition to the latest Senate GOP bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

They are among 16 groups that released a joint statement criticizing the bill, which Republican sponsors say is nearing the 51 votes necessary for passage.

“This bill would limit funding for the Medicaid program, roll back important essential health benefit protections, and potentially open the door to annual and lifetime caps on coverage, endangering access to critical care for millions of Americans,” the groups wrote in a statement. “Our organizations urge senators to oppose this legislation.”

{mosads}The bill from Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) seeks to give more power to states by converting dollars currently spent on ObamaCare into block grants.

It is expected to get a Senate hearing next week.

Republicans are moving the legislation under special budget rules that prevent Democrats from filibustering the legislation. 

But the deadline for a vote under those rules is Sept. 30, after which the filibuster would be in play. That would likely doom an ObamaCare repeal effort.

The groups that came out against the bill on Monday are worried about a new cap on Medicaid spending, and waivers in the bill that would allow states to opt out of ObamaCare rules like the essential health benefits, which mandates that insurance plans cover services like mental health care or prescription drugs.

The groups instead praised a bipartisan effort in the Senate Health Committee, where senators are looking to pass a narrow bill aimed at stabilizing the ObamaCare markets.

“We urge Congress to continue this important bipartisan effort rather than advancing proposals that would weaken access to the care Americans need and deserve,” the groups wrote.

Tags Bill Cassidy Dean Heller Lindsey Graham Ron Johnson
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