WASHINGTON – As Republican Senate leaders rush to pass their newly revised bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is floating his own plan.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Graham both released their proposals Thursday.
Essentially, Graham wants to give states the money they normally receive and let them decide what to do with it.
“Instead of a refundable tax credit that will go to an individual in South Carolina, we’re going to take all of the money that would have gone to South Carolina and give it to the governor of South Carolina and the state legislature and let them come up with an alternative to Obamacare if they want,” he told CBN News.
States would have the option to keep Obamacare.
Graham’s plan would divide up more than $100 billion in annual federal funding for health care and at the same time keep all of Obamacare’s taxes except the medical device tax.
McConnell hopes his bill will go to vote next week but if it fails, some say Graham’s could be a backup.
“It will get healthcare decisions out of Washington. It will empower the states,” Graham said.
More on what Graham’s plan would do:
· Federal dollars currently spent on Obamacare health insurance – an estimated $110 billion in 2016 – would be block-granted to the states.
· The individual mandate and employer mandate instituted under Obamacare would be repealed under Senate reconciliation rules, which only require 50 votes.
· The Obamacare requirements covering pre-existing conditions would be retained.
· The Obamacare medical device tax would be eliminated, but other Obamacare taxes would remain in place.
· Federal Medicaid funding to the states will continue to grow in a sustainable manner, adjusted for inflation. Graham’s plan provides additional flexibility to the states to ensure health care dollars are spent in a manner providing the most effective and efficient coverage based on their health care needs and populations.
· Federal funds would be restricted to health care spending only. These funds could be distributed by the states in the forms of tax credits, subsidies, health savings account premiums, and other means as the individual states see fit to meet their health care needs.