WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Wednesday backed the healthcare coverage plan crafted by GOP Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana — a measure giving states far more power over medical insurance.
The Republican Senate leaders are under pressure to pass Graham/Cassidy and repeal Obamacare – in the wake of failed attempts earlier this year – by Sept. 30, when it would take only GOP votes for it to advance, according to rules relating to passing a budget. After that deadline, it would take 60 votes, meaning Democratic support would be needed – and it does not exist.
Sen. Rand Paul R-Ky., has already said he is against the proposal and Trump jabbed him in a post as a “negative force” when it comes to “fixing healthcare.”
The Graham/Cassidy plan would vastly reshape the federal role in healthcare coverage.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, has not staked out a position on this legislation, even though the proposed block grants would have significant impact on the state -especially since there will be a cut in federal funding over the years, compared to the current law. The Illinois governor would have a big say in devising state policy over pre-existing conditions, other coverage guarantees and the future of Medicaid. Medicaid was expanded in Illinois under Obamacare.
Ten other governors – both Democrats and Republicans – in a Tuesday letter asked Senate leaders Mitch McConnell of Kentucky a Republican and Chuck Schumer of New York, a Democrat – to take a bi-partisan approach.
Here are Trump’s Twitter posts on the Graham/Cassidy measure: