Republican senators introduce healthcare reform bill

2017 05 04 10 02 04 942 Capitol Hill2 400

Four U.S. senators have introduced legislation to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) launched a proposal that "repeals the structure and architecture of Obamacare and replaces it with a block grant given annually to states to help individuals pay for healthcare," according to a statement released by Graham's office.

The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal gives states discretion over how healthcare money would be used for patients in each state, Graham's office said. Grant dollars would replace federal money currently being spent on Medicaid expansion, ACA tax credits, and cost-sharing reduction subsidies.

According to the lawmakers, the legislation would do the following:

  • Repeal the ACA's individual and employer mandates
  • Repeal the ACA's medical device tax
  • Strengthen states' ability to waive ACA regulations
  • Equalize the treatment of Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states through an equitable block grant
  • Protect patients with pre-existing medical conditions

"Instead of a Washington-knows-best approach like Obamacare, our legislation empowers those closest to the healthcare needs of their communities to provide solutions," Graham said. "Our bill takes money and power out of Washington and gives it back to patients and states. It takes us off the path to single payor healthcare -- which would be a disaster -- and puts us on a path toward local control."

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