The Ebbs & Flow of the Graham/Cassidy Repeal & Replace Bill Would Be the Greatest Roller Coaster Ride…..

I am not getting my hopes up because Healthcare has ripped 99.9% away from them but this article seemed to peek my interest and I want to keep folks informed. The first being that the CBO may only be able to assess the financial impact rather than how many will lose their insurance before a vote. The reason being is that this would involve looking at all 50 states to make a determination on the number of people that would be adversely effected. The second being as long as the Senate votes by September 30th, the House is not bound by that deadline. They can vote on it in October.

The article thinks the only person the Republicans can flip is Lisa Murkowski. Rand Paul and Susan Collins are NOs. There is enough savings in the bill to make her very happy for voting yes.

From the article linked above:

The Graham-Cassidy proposal is suddenly being taken seriously by friends and foes alike. The main agent of propulsion was a Senate GOP luncheon yesterday after which Mitch McConnell expressed support for the measure and his deputy John Cornyn offered to get a whip count in place. Lindsey Graham says the bill if voted on right now would get “47, 48 votes,” which is of course dangerously close to the 50 needed to rescue the debacle of GOP health-care efforts.

The key reason for guarded GOP optimism is the close friendship between Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who administered the coup de grâce for the July health-care push. The Arizonan has sent very mixed signals on the bill, however, supporting it on the merits but also demanding it proceed through “regular order,” meaning hearings and full floor debate. That definitely ain’t happening, for two reasons: the Senate parliamentarian has already ruled the budget resolution that authorizes a 50-vote health-care bill will expire on September 30, and the time for debate on said bill was used up in July. So if Graham-Cassidy is going to be passed, it will happen very quickly (the current plan is for a vote during the week of September 25, or in other words, at the very last minute).

With Rand Paul, who stuck with his party on the definitive vote in July, having already announced opposition to Graham-Cassidy, sponsors would need McCain and one other senator in order to get the bill across the line. That will be tough. It’s hard to imagine Susan Collins suddenly relenting in her opposition to virtually every GOP health-care bill of the recent past. As for Lisa Murkowski, who resisted all sorts of attempted bribes and threats to get her to toe the line in July, it’s also hard to see a clear path for her to go along to get along. But we have no way of knowing what kind of fresh inducements might be offered for the last couple of votes, and Graham-Cassidy would definitely generate enough budget savings to fund some pretty lavish bribes.


There’s a rumor going around, however, that CBO will announce it only has time to estimate the impact of Graham-Cassidy on the federal budget before the vote is cast. The Senate parliamentarian will likely say that’s all the Congressional Budget Act requires, and the deal could go down before the public becomes aware of the full impact on insurance coverage or premiums.


The House will be put in a real bind. The lower chamber is not constrained by the Senate’s September 30 deadline, but once it passes, there can be no further Senate votes. That means the House would quite literally be forced to take Graham-Cassidy or leave it as is.


But there remains a very small but real possibility that the biggest regrets will be felt by congressional Democrats who cleared the Senate decks for Graham-Cassidy by cutting a fiscal deal with the White House.

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