Latest Republican assault on healthcare would punish older Americans

The Republicans’ battle to repeal Obamacare is starting to look less like warfare and more like a game of whack-a-mole.

Each time a draconian plan pops up, advocates for healthcare and seniors – and grassroots opponents – grab their mallets and pound them back into their holes. And so it should be with the latest nightmarish repeal and replace plan, Graham-Cassidy.

The plan would slash federal healthcare funding to states by $215 billion through 2026, and more than $4 trillion over a 20-year period, according to Avalere Health, a research and consulting firm. Importantly, Graham-Cassidy’s cuts to Medicaid would decimate our current system of funding for long-term care.

The mallets are already pounding on this one – and that should be no surprise. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has taken its lumps, but it has gained support as the public comes to realize what is at stake. Sixty percent of the public thinks it is a “good thing” that the last Senate plan failed, and nearly as many (57 percent) want Republicans and Democrats to work together on improvements to the ACA, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.

The current bill, sponsored by Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, would punt the question of healthcare to the states, allowing them to decide on their own plans with support from a federal block grant. The grants would replace the funds currently being used for the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and for subsidies to help people buy insurance via the marketplace exchanges.

Learn more at Reuters Money.

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