Graham-Cassidy amendment to the American Health Care Act

About this issue


On September 13, 2017, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) unveiled legislation to reform health care. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) proposal repeals the structure and architecture of Obamacare and replaces it with a block grant given annually to states to help individuals pay for health care.

From the sponsors:

This proposal removes the decisions from Washington and gives states significant latitude over how the dollars are used to best take care of the unique health care needs of the patients in each state.

The block grant is run through CHIP and is subject to a mandatory appropriation.

The grant dollars would replace the federal money currently being spent on Medicaid Expansion, Obamacare tax credits, cost-sharing reduction subsidies and the basic health plan dollars.

The proposal gives states the resources and regulatory flexibility to innovate and create healthcare systems that lower premiums and expand coverage.

    More specifically, GCHJ:
  • Repeals Obamacare Individual and Employer Mandates.
  • Repeals the Obamacare Medical Device Tax.
  • Strengthens the ability for states to waive Obamacare regulations.
  • Returns power to the states and patients by equalizing the treatment between Medicaid Expansion and Non-expansion States through an equitable block grant distribution.
  • Protects patients with pre-existing medical conditions.
  • GCHJ also eliminates the inequity of three states receiving 37 percent of Obamacare funds and brings all states to funding parity by 2026. As an example, Pennsylvania has nearly double the population of Massachusetts, but receives 58 percent less Obamacare money than Massachusetts.

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