Medical groups urge lawmakers to reject Graham-Cassidy bill

Medical groups urge lawmakers to reject Graham-Cassidy bill
© Greg Nash

Leading medical associations are calling on lawmakers to reject Republicans' latest attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

In a statement issued Saturday, several doctor and hospital trade groups, including the American Medical Association and the Federation of American Hospitals said that the bill introduced by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Barr to attend Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday GOP lawmaker makes unannounced trip to northeastern Syria MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyThe Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Overnight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case Overnight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' MORE (R-La.) ultimately falls short of key benchmarks, weakening patient protections and the individual insurance market.

"While we sometimes disagree on important issues in health care, we are in total agreement that Americans deserve a stable healthcare market that provides access to high-quality care and affordable coverage for all," the statement reads.

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"The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill does not move us closer to that goal. The Senate should reject it."

The groups also slam the Graham-Cassidy measure's proposed timelines and cuts to Medicaid, and calls for lawmakers to work on a bipartisan health care proposal. 

"Health care is too important to get wrong," the statement says. "Let’s take the time to get it right. Let’s agree to find real, bipartisan solutions that make health care work for every American." 

The statement was released collectively by the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the BlueCross BlueShield Association.

The bill renewed the GOP's push to repeal key parts of the ACA when it was introduced earlier this month. But its chances of passage grew significantly dimmer on Friday when Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: GOP lawmaker takes unannounced trip to Syria | Taliban leader pens New York Times op-ed on peace talks | Cheney blasts paper for publishing op-ed GOP lawmaker makes unannounced trip to northeastern Syria Meghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' MORE (R-Ariz.) announced that he would not support the measure.

McCain was the second lawmaker – after Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Pelosi names first-ever House whistleblower ombudsman director The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (R-Kent.) – to come out against the Graham-Cassidy bill. Supporters of the measure need at least 50 votes for it to pass before a Sept. 30 procedural deadline, after which the bill would require a 60-vote majority.

McCain's opposition is likely to trigger other GOP senators to come out in opposition to the bill.