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 GrahamGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback MORE (R-S.C.) and Bill CassidyBill CassidySunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist Legislators look to expand health care access through telehealth, biosimilars Infrastructure deal is proof that Congress can still do good, bipartisan work 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 McCainGOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News Trump's attacks on McConnell seen as prelude to 2024 White House bid MORE (R-Ariz.) announced that he would not support the measure.

McCain was the second lawmaker – after Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP anger with Fauci rises Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default Cotton swipes at Fauci: 'These bureaucrats think that they are the science' 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.