KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Graham-Cassidy Bill Proposes State-By-State Block Grants As Solution To Health Insurance Woes

The measure, crafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), is a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. It has long odds of getting anywhere, although President Donald Trump did applaud their efforts.

The Washington Post: GOP Tries One More Time To Undo ACA With Bill Offering Huge Block Grants To States
With just 17 days left for Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act on a party-line vote, a quartet of GOP senators on Wednesday rolled out a plan to devolve federal health care spending into state-by-state block grants — legislation that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey O. Graham described as conservatives’ last shot at reform. “It should have been our first bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, but it is now our last,” Graham said at a morning news conference. “To those in the Republican Party who feel like we have not fought as hard as we could, you’re right.” (Weigel and Goldstein, 9/13)

Politico: Graham, Cassidy Unveil Last-Ditch Obamacare Repeal Bill
Sens. Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller and Ron Johnson on Wednesday released an Obamacare repeal bill, framing it as the last, best hope to fulfill the GOP's promise to undo the health law. "There's a lot of fight left in the Republican Party" on repeal, Graham said. The bill faces long odds: Even some of its GOP backers say it would be almost impossible to get a massive rewrite of the health care system through the Senate within 17 days, or before the expiration of fast-track procedural powers Republicans hope to use to bypass the threat of a Democratic filibuster. (Haberkorn, 9/13)

The Hill: GOP Senators Make Last ObamaCare Repeal Pitch
Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) argued at a press conference that their party should not give up on repealing the health law. But they face extremely long odds in trying to win 51 votes before a fast-approaching procedural deadline on Sept. 30. “This is our last shot,” Johnson said. (Sullivan, 9/13)

Modern Healthcare: Hospitals Fear New GOP Block-Grant Bill Would Slash Medicaid Funding
Four Republican senators unveiled a radical proposal Wednesday to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by handing states $1.2 trillion in ACA subsidies through 2026 and letting them design their own coverage systems with few limitations on what they could do. Sens. Lindsay Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, and Ron Johnson acknowledged that their bill probably represents Republicans' last chance to undo Obamacare. ... And they warned that if their bill isn't passed, it's likely that the country will get a government single-payer health insurance system. (Meyer, 9/13)

Bloomberg: Trump Says He Applauds Last-Ditch Obamacare Repeal Proposal
President Donald Trump let Republican senators working on an eleventh-hour effort to repeal Obamacare know he is rooting for them, without explicitly supporting the legislation.GOP senators Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, and Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana, introduced a bill Wednesday to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with block grants to states, who would determine how to help people pay for health care. Their effort comes as Tennessee Republican Senator Lamar Alexander is working with Washington Democratic Senator Patty Murray to craft a bipartisan, short-term Obamacare fix. (Edney and Litvan, 9/13)

The Hill: Trump Applauds Republican Senators For Latest ObamaCare Repeal Effort 
President Trump on Wednesday applauded the Republican senators who introduced a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, though he stopped short of a full-throated endorsement. “I applaud the Senate for continuing to work toward a solution to relieve the disastrous Obamacare burden on the American people. My Administration has consistently worked to enact legislation that repeals and replaces Obamacare, and that can pass the Senate and make it to my desk,” Trump said in a statement. (Shelbourne, 9/13)

Bloomberg: Greenspan Backs Bid To Replace Obamacare With Grants To States 
The latest long-shot bid to undo Obamacare got a boost from Alan Greenspan, a former Federal Reserve chairman who served under presidents from both parties. Greenspan, who held office from 1987 until 2006, said in a statement that a measure proposed by four Senate Republicans on Wednesday represents a “giant step forward” because it provides grants to states to provide health coverage. The measure -- sponsored by Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin -- “as best I can judge, will make health care more affordable, more accessible, and I believe it will lead to better outcomes for patients,” Greenspan said in a statement. (Litvan, 9/13)

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