Conservative Groups Oppose Cassidy-Graham Trumpcare Bill

Criticism is mounting to the latest Republican-led effort to partially replace the Affordable Care Act from conservatives who want the Obama-era health law to disappear in its entirety.

A bill unveiled Wednesday by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) and Dean Heller (R-Nevada) would keep a lot of the ACA’s regulations intact though it would eliminate the individual and employer mandate and shift insurance subsidies and Medicaid funding to block grants controlled by states.

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 27: (L-R) U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and John McCain (R-AZ) hold a news conference to announce opposition to the so-called skinny repeal of Obamacare at the U.S. Capitol July 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Republican senators are expected to announce a new proposal Wednesday, Sept. 13th that’s already on shaky ground with conservative groups and GOP Senators. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

But that’s not good enough, say conservatives who favor a full repeal of the ACA as promised by Republican members of Congress for 7 of the 8 years when President Barack Obama was in the White House.

“Graham-Cassidy would make some improvements over the status quo but it would not actually deliver on the Republicans’ seven-year campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare ,” Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham. “As we have said from the beginning, the key question is whether any proposal actually addresses Obamacare’s regulatory architecture. Any reforms that maintain the law’s onerous federal regulations will ensure networks continue to narrow, premiums continue to rise, and choice continues to decline.”

Obama signed the ACA into law more than 7 years ago and the GOP continues trying, unsuccessfully, to get rid of it. Conservatives say the Cassidy-Graham legislation wouldn’t come close to repealing the ACA.

“We encourage legislators to put a true repeal bill on the table for a vote and let the votes be counted for the record,” said Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom president Twila Brase. “Real repeal is getting the Affordable Care Act off the books for good, which Republicans have been promising for seven years, yet here we are, with a Republican president, Senate and House, and families are still struggling under ACA’s mandates and taxes, with premium costs that are, in some cases, higher than their mortgages. Americans are long overdue for a true repeal vote. They deserve it.”

In the Senate, where the GOP has a 52-48 majority, there is little room for error with Senators already predicting the demise of the Cassidy-Graham bill even before its been officially released or “scored” by the Congressional Budget Office.

But Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican that has long advocated a full repeal of the ACA said earlier this week that he had his doubts about the Cassidy-Graham bill. “I don’t think it’s going anywhere,” Paul said.

The legislation faces a procedural deadline of Sept. 30 so GOP Senators are rushing to come up with something they think can pass. The conservative Washington Examiner also reported that Senators were “skeptical they could push the bill through by the end of the month since it hasn’t been scored by the Congressional Budget Office.”

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