Overnight Health Care: Protests erupt at GOP ObamaCare repeal hearing | What to watch for in CNN's repeal debate tonight | Trump pessimistic about repeal

Overnight Health Care: Protests erupt at GOP ObamaCare repeal hearing | What to watch for in CNN's repeal debate tonight | Trump pessimistic about repeal
© Camille Fine

Protests erupted at a Republican-led hearing on their ObamaCare repeal bill, leading Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchDems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Judiciary Dems say GOP treating Kavanaugh accuser worse than Anita Hill MORE (R-Utah) to briefly recess the hearing, after police dragged several protesters out.

"No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty," attendees chanted. 

Hatch recessed the hearing, and left the room at 2:12 p.m. A few minutes later, he restarted the hearing after the protesters had been removed, though they could be heard inside the room from the hallway.

ADVERTISEMENT

At issue is Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care: Opioids package nears finish line | Measure to help drug companies draws ire | Maryland ObamaCare rates to drop Overnight Health Care: HHS diverts funds to pay for detaining migrant children | Health officials defend transfers | Lawmakers consider easing drug company costs in opioids deal Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse Judiciary chair threatens subpoena if DOJ doesn’t supply McCabe memos by Tuesday Rosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Graham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump MORE's (R-S.C.) bill to repeal ObamaCare, a last-ditch effort to pass legislation by the end of the month when time runs out on a rule allowing Republicans to move a bill without Democrats.

Hours before the hearing, protesters had filled the hall of the Senate office building, some arriving as early as 5 a.m. Many were from the disability rights group ADAPT, who traveled across the country to attend the meeting.

Read more here.

 

GOP changes bill to win over 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.

Those states are home to three holdouts on the bill, Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsKavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report Dems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage MORE (R-Maine), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game Arizona race becomes Senate GOP’s ‘firewall’ MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiKavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Murkowski says she’ll wait until Ford testifies before making decision on Kavanaugh 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.

Read more here.

 

Breaking down the Alaska changes...

The revised version of Republicans' ObamaCare replacement bill includes several provisions that specifically benefit Alaska, in what could be aimed at winning over the crucial vote of Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R). 

"The basic theme of the redistribution [of funds] seems to be how many different ways you can spell A-L-A-S-K-A," Timothy Jost, a professor at Washington and Lee University, wrote in Health Affairs Blog. 

Murkowski has not yet said how she will vote. She says she is studying the measure's impact on Alaska. 

The revised bill, released Monday, increases the federal share of Medicaid funding for states with separate poverty guidelines because of their high levels of poverty. That translates to an increase in Medicaid funding only for Alaska and Hawaii, experts said. 

Read more here.

 

Cruz still a no on ObamaCare repeal bill

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzViral video shows O’Rourke air-drumming to the Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ after Cruz debate Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions MORE (R-Texas) is still opposed to the latest ObamaCare repeal legislation despite the changes that have been made to the bill, according to a Cruz aide.

Cruz's position further endangers the Republican ObamaCare repeal effort, which appears to be on the brink of failure.

The Texan is the third senator to publicly oppose the bill. Senate Republicans can only lose two votes and still pass the bill; Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulA Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too Conservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Senate approves 4B spending bill MORE (R-Ky.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) are already opposed.

Read more here.

 

Paul outlines demands for yes vote on Graham-Cassidy bill 

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is outlining a list of demands to win his support for the GOP's latest ObamaCare replacement bill that would require major changes to the legislation.

Paul's primary demand, according to his office, is to substantially reduce the central component of the bill: block grants to states with money to spend on health care.

"Graham/Cassidy keeps and redistributes/spends over a trillion dollars," Paul says in a document provided by his office.

Read more here.

 

Trump pessimistic on repeal chances

President Trump sounded a pessimistic note Monday on the latest GOP effort to repeal ObamaCare, and blamed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for costing his party a victory.

Trump did not give up all hope on the bill, but suggested it would not get the 50 votes -- assuming a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Pence -- it needed to clear the Senate because of opposition from McCain, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and other Republicans.

"Looks like Susan Collins and some others who will vote against," Trump said during an interview on the "Rick & Bubba" radio show. "We're going to lose two or three votes and that's the end of that."

Trump also criticized McCain, whose thumbs down killed a slimmed-down ObamaCare repeal bill in July, and who announced his opposition to the latest measure on Friday.

Trump said that "the only reason we don't have" repeal is "because of John McCain."

"What McCain has done is a tremendous slap in the face of the Republican party," Trump said. "Without John McCain, we already have the health care."

Read more here.

 

Five things to watch for in CNN's ObamaCare repeal debate

CNN will host a health care debate Monday night between senators as the GOP makes a last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare.

The debate pits GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.) against Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE (I-Vt.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls GOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat MORE (D-Minn.) in a town hall-style event.

The debate will be moderated by CNN anchor Jake Tapper and chief political correspondent Dana Bash live from Washington, D.C.

Graham and Cassidy are the authors of the latest Republican ObamaCare repeal effort, which appears to be on life support given GOP defections from the right and center.

Read more here.

 

S&P: Graham-Cassidy bill would cost 580K jobs

The latest ObamaCare repeal bill would hurt the economy and reduce coverage levels, according to a new report released Monday.

The S&P Global Ratings report found that the bill would reduce coverage levels among those making between 133 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line, or between $16,040 and $48,240 for an individual.

Some eligible for the traditional Medicaid program may also lose coverage, S&P says.

The ratings agency also found the bill could cost about 580,000 jobs and $240 billion in lost economic activity by 2027 while limiting the gross domestic product growth to about 2 percent a year over the next decade.

Read more here.

 

Poll: Majority disapproves of ObamaCare repeal bill

A CBS News poll finds 52 percent of Americans disapprove of the GOP's latest effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Just 20 percent of respondents in the poll approve of the bill.

More than one-quarter of those surveyed did not give an opinion.

Even among Republicans, approval ratings for the bill don't reach 50 percent.

Only 46 percent of Republicans approve of the bill. Eighteen percent of independents approve of the legislation, and just 2 percent of Democrats say the same.

Read more here.

 

What we're reading 

Battered Puerto Rico hospitals on life support after Hurricane Maria (Reuters)

Hurricane Maria halts crucial drug manufacturing in Puerto Rico, may spur shortages (USA Today)

ObamaCare repeal effort is counting on states to shoulder the burden -- but states don't want it (CNBC

 

State by state

7.5 million Californians could lose coverage under latest ObamaCare repeal effort (latimes.com)

Medicaid enrollment service shuts down in Ohio (Associated Press)

Uncertainty from feds clouds state health care costs (Minnesota Public Radio)