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Capitol Correspondence - 10.02.17

Graham Cassidy Bill Withdrawn for Vote… For Now

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On Tuesday, September 26, 2017, Senate Republicans decided to not bring up the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill for a vote. This in effect defeats the harmful bill, which would have imposed significant cuts and per capita caps on Medicaid and repealed and replaced the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Click here for ANCOR’s press statement – and thank you to ANCOR members for their advocacy!

While the bill’s withdrawal means that the Senate GOP can no longer benefit from the 2017 budget process to pass health care reform on a simple majority, ANCOR would like to emphasize that Medicaid is not off the Congressional menu yet. It is important to note that a strong message from some Republicans at Monday’s Senate Finance Hearing was that Medicaid, even the traditional programs, is on an unsustainable path.

During the Finance hearing, these Senators stressed that it makes sense to control Medicaid by a medical inflation rate, and made similar comments in the press conference announcing the bill’s withdrawal, which you can watch here. This means the Graham-Cassidy bill could be revisited at a later date. Alternatively, Medicaid could be discussed in 2018 budget negotiations, which will start soon (though the Senate GOP is sending mixed signals on that possibility). The current Continuing Resolution expires December 8 so a budget deal of some kind will have to be made to fund the rest of FY18. See the possible next steps for the Senate GOP on health care in ANCOR’s infographic here.

ANCOR will continue to be vigilant about bills that could threaten Medicaid and the stability of supports and services for people with disabilities. We will keep ANCOR members informed of any new developments and strongly encourage you to use the coming weeks to educate your Members of Congress on the importance of our programs. Please enjoy the respite from the Graham-Cassidy bill defeat, but stay alert on changes to Medicaid.