The Senate has officially given up on the reconciliation bill that was designed to strip federal tax dollars away from Planned Parenthood and replace the Obama-era health care mandate.
The decision was made because Senators John McCain, Rand Paul, and Susan Collins opposed the bill.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was the first Republican Senator who said he did not support the bill. Paul said the plan increases the nation’s debt and doesn’t “repeal a single ObamaCare insurance regulation” such as essential health benefit rules.
Collins would only support the bill if the provision defunding Planned Parenthood were omitted. All of the Democrats opposed the bill. Leading pro life groups such as the Family Research Council and Susan B. Anthony list supported the Graham-Cassidy bill.
President Trump said repeatedly that he would sign the legislation if it passed both houses of Congress.
Vice President Pence also said he was all in with the plan.
The measures were in the form of a reconciliation bill that required only 50 votes to pass. However, the last time that Senate Republicans attempted to pass a reconciliation bill they were three votes short of the needed number because John McCain and Susan Collins, along with Lisa Murkowski, did not support it then.
“We’ll allow [the] states to come up with solutions to help sick people, not just some bureaucrat in Washington,” Graham told Fox News:
The Graham-Cassidy legislation would implement a block grant program that gives funding to states, which would then have a wide leeway on how that money is spent.
“We’ll eliminate the individual mandate, the heart and soul of ObamaCare, that is gone at the federal level. We take the money and send it back to the states in a block grant formula where they can administer health care,” Graham added.
The plan would eliminate Medicaid expansion, tax credits, employer mandates and cost-sharing subsidies. It would let states ease coverage requirements.
The Congressional Budget Office released a preliminary assessment of the bill yesterday. The analysis estimated that the proposal would reduce the on-budget deficit by at least $133 billion. It would also lower the number of people with comprehensive health insurance by “millions.” “That number could vary widely depending on how states implemented the legislation, although the direction of the effect is clear,” the analysis said.
Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood leaders refused an offer to receive an increase in taxpayer funding if they stopped doing abortions. CEO Cecile Richards called the offer “obscene and insulting,” making it very clear that abortions – not women’s health care – are what really are important to Planned Parenthood.