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Top Louisiana health official rips Cassidy over ObamaCare repeal bill

Top Louisiana health official rips Cassidy over ObamaCare repeal bill

Louisiana’s top health official sent a scathing letter to Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyDyslexia is more common than society realizes. Here’s what we can do to help children struggling in the shadows. Congress must protect eye care patients from frightful prescriptions Trump signs bills banning drug pricing 'gag clauses' MORE (R-La.) blasting his new bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, saying, “The harm to Louisiana from this legislation far outweighs any benefit.”

“The legislation you’ve introduced this past week gravely threatens health care access and coverage for our state and its people,” Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health Rebekah Gee wrote. 

Gee, who was appointed by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), detailed several concerns she has with Cassidy’s bill, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSchumer’s headaches to multiply in next Congress California governor's office says focus is on wildfires, not Trump's 'inane and uninformed tweets' Republicans push back on Trump’s threat to withhold California funding amid wildfire MORE (R-S.C.). Gee says thousands of Louisiana citizens would lose health-care coverage due to the bill’s elimination of the Medicaid expansion in 2020, calling it a “detrimental step backwards” for the state.

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Gee also raised concerns about how the bill allows states to waive essential health benefits, which she says would “inevitably increase the cost of care for those who need it the most.”

“This bill, like ones before it, uniquely and disproportionately hurts Louisiana due to our recent expansion and high burden of extreme poverty,” Gee wrote.

“The cuts would threaten critical access and care for our most vulnerable Medicaid populations including the disabled, children, and pregnant women.”

Cassidy’s bill, which would replace much of ObamaCare with block grants for states, is gaining steam in the Senate, and the Congressional Budget Office will release a “preliminary assessment” of the bill next week.

Senate Democrats launched an hours-long talk-a-thon in protest of the bill on Monday night ahead of a potential vote on the bill next week.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSunday shows preview: Trump taps acting attorney general to lead Justice Department Pro-Israel organizations should finally seek payback against Iran deal Dems Pelosi: Acting attorney general 'should not be there' MORE (D-N.Y.) said Monday he is willing to jam the Senate to stop the progress of the bill.

“We’re going to look at every possible way to slow this bill down," Schumer said.