by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
GOP senators could only lose two votes from their ranks. Rand Paul and John McCain publicly opposed the measure earlier.
On Monday, Susan Collins drove a stake through its heart, saying she'll vote against the bill, effectively killing it. More on this below.
Senator Lindsey Graham is a notorious right-wing extremist, a deplorable figure, militantly for endless wars of aggression, strongly against social justice, despicably calling Iranian leaders "religious Nazis" earlier.
He called for declaring falsely accused Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev an enemy combatant, wanting him sent to Guantanamo.
He supports arming housewives with semi-automatic weapons to defend against intruders, a lunatic idea. He claims marriage equality requires a constitutional amendment, the way slavery was ended.
He's a longstanding Russophobe, opposing strategic arms reduction and efforts for improved bilateral relations. He lied about being a war veteran, falsely claiming he served in the 1991 Gulf War.
William Cassidy is a physician turned politician, supporting marketplace medicine, caring about industry profit-making, not responsibly caring for patients' needs. A former House member, he's senior Louisiana senator.
Graham-Cassidy legislation calls for replacing ACA subsidies with woefully inadequate block grants to states, eliminating them altogether after 2026.
Beginning in 2020, it slashes Medicaid funding drastically. Post-2026, coverage would revert to pre-ACA days with no replacement, leaving 32 million Americans without health insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The measure lets insurers charge exorbitant, unaffordable premiums for individuals with pre-conditions, leaving America's poor and low-income without vital coverage or enough of it in case of serious illnesses, diseases or injuries.
Graham-Cassidy is an abomination by any standard. Collins called it "deeply flawed." Her announced opposition effectively kills it, saying:
"I have three major concerns with both the proposal that we were discussing last week and the newest version that was put together this weekend:
"First, both proposals make sweeping changes and cuts in the Medicaid program. Expert projections show that more than $1 trillion would be taken out of the Medicaid program between the years 2020 and 2036."
"This would have a devastating impact to a program that has been on the books for 50 years and provides health care to our most vulnerable citizens, including disabled children and low-income seniors."
"Second, both bills open the door for states to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes."
"Some states could allow higher premiums for individuals with pre-existing conditions, potentially making their insurance unaffordable."
"States could also limit specific categories of benefits for Affordable Care Act policies, such as eliminating coverage for mental health or substance abuse treatment."
"Third, physicians, patient advocates, insurers, and hospitals agree that both versions of this legislation would lead to higher premiums and reduced coverage for tens of millions of Americans."
Ted Cruz opposes the bill without changes. GOP senators have until September 30 to pass it, protected from a Democrat filibuster.
They need 50 votes plus Vice President Pence's in case of a tie, using the budget reconciliation process.
After September 30, 60 votes are needed for repealing and/or replacing Obamacare - unattainable with no Dem. support.
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