The latest GOP healthcare proposal bill that is sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) would cut federal funding to states by $215 billion through 2026, reports the Washington Times.

Analysts on Wednesday said that less than a third of states would see an increase in funding compared to the current program in place.

If the law passes, 34 states and D.C. would see cuts—seven of them would lose more than $10 billion—while 16 states would get more money, particularly Texas, according to Avalere Health, a D.C-based consultancy.

This last-ditch effort by the Republicans would pool Obamacare money that currently subsidizes coverage for many who buy insurance on the exchanges and money going to expand Medicaid rolls and siphon it all to the states as block grants.

These states would then be allowed to tailor this money to how they see fit, starting in 2020.

There has not been complete backing for this new bill; only 15 of the nation’s governors signed a letter on Tuesday giving their support of the state-empowering plan.

“The Graham-Cassidy bill would significantly reduce funding to states over the long-term, particularly for states that have already expanded Medicaid,” said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at Avalere. “States would have broad flexibility to shape their markets but would have less funding to subsidize coverage for low and middle-income individuals.”

Red states would win out through 2026 with the new bill, predominately ones across Southeast and Midwest.  The most populous state, blue California, would lose nearly $80 billion by 2026, the analysis says.

Avalere also says that the plan creates a funding cliff in later years, because block-grant funding expires in 2026. Cassidy says that isn’t a problem because the money is funded through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is routinely reauthorized.

It may prove difficult, however, for Congress’ ability to give up more money because Avalere says it’s uncertain and could be constrained by the need to offset the cost.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has opposed the bill from the beginning, warning his colleagues that this bill would enable Democrats in the future to change the formula to benefit predominately blue states.

“Avalere said converting financing to the Medicaid insurance program from an open-ended entitlement to a fixed, per-capita system will have long-term effects, meaning every state should see less money about two decades from now.

‘A combination of slower Medicaid per-capita cap growth rates and the sunsetting of block grant funding would lead to substantial reductions in federal funds going to states through 2036,’ said Chris Sloan, a senior manager at Avalere. ‘The largest negative funding impacts of this bill to states are outside the current 10-year budget window.’”

Alaskan politicians have been strongly opposing the Graham-Cassidy bill, with Governor Bill Walker saying that Senate leaders need to pursue a health care fix from both parties, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski who was a holdout among the 52-seat Republican majority.

Republicans are scrambling to get 50 votes pinned down before the Sept. 30th deadline to avoid the Democratic filibuster of their repeal plans under the 2017 budget rules.

President Trump voiced his opinion after being relatively silent on the subject, but tweeted out on Wednesday that Senate Republicans need to rally around the plan.

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BY Isabelle Weeks


I am a staff writer for DC Statesman and like to report on current events happening in the Trump administration as well as the political world.