The looming vote on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill has people’s passions going haywire. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel is locked in a duel with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who the former alleges lied to him concerning the details of the bill. Guy has been documenting the new bill, which seems to have a shot at garnering 50 votes—the target for this bill since Vice President Pence would be the deciding ballot. Under the reconciliation rules for health care, the Senate has until the end of the month to get something hashed out under this framework. With this bill, the Trump White House gave the okay, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan bluntly said if the Senate passes this bill, the House would follow suit. Here are some preliminary details via Guy:
It would repeal the individual and employer mandates of the Affordable Care Act, impose per capita caps on Medicaid, increase contributions to health-savings accounts, allow states to waive regulations on private insurance providers, and provide those states with block grants so they can design their own health-care systems. If the bill became law, it would therefore be a genuine federalist triumph. A large portion of the federal money now set to fund the Medicaid expansion and subsidies of the Affordable Care Act would be instead distributed to individual states. Each state would have the freedom and means to develop its own health-care system. Reasonable people disagree over how best to design a health-care system, and under Graham-Cassidy, their ideas could be tested without causing a nationwide catastrophe and the disruption of a vital service.
Once again, all eyes are on the usual suspects: Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and John McCain (R-AZ). Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is already a no vote. Yet, as this vote is set for next week, it seems some within the Democratic Party are hedging that McCain will do the right thing because he’s dying. Yeah, talk about tasteless. At an event with Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania 17th congressional district, that’s exactly what the Democrat said. He noted how the governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, said he supported the bill, which McCain said would weigh on his decision in how to vote.
“John McCain I’m worried about,” said Cartwright. “But man, something tells me McCain—he’s staring death in the face right now, so he’s probably going to make good choices,” he added.
Cartwright issued an apology last night, saying he reached out directly to the Arizona Republican and his family for his “insensitive” remarks. He wished him well and a speedy recovery.