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    Collins Kills Graham-Cassidy Bill With Definite No Vote

    Collins Kills Graham-Cassidy Bill With Definite No Vote

    Three no votes means it’s dead.

    Welp, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tried to change their Obamacare “repeal and replace” bill to appease those senators that opposed it…but it did not work.

    Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has come out and officially declared she would vote no on both versions of the bill.

    Republicans fell into a panic when Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and John McCain (R-AZ) gave their definite nos on the bill, leaving the vote at 50-50.

    Collins had always been leaning no, but with this statement, the bill is officially dead. From The New York Times:

    “Health care is a deeply personal, complex issue that affects every single one of us and one-sixth of the American economy. Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can’t be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target,” Ms. Collins said in the statement.

    “Today, we find out that there is now a fourth version of the Graham-Cassidy proposal, which is as deeply flawed as the previous iterations,” she said. “The fact that a new version of this bill was released the very week we are supposed to vote compounds the problem.”

    She added: “This is simply not the way that we should be approaching an important and complex issue that must be handled thoughtfully and fairly for all Americans.”

    Paul spoke to reporters on Monday to announce that the revision did not win him over. From Talking Points Memo:

    “If you’re going to say the whole country is short of money, which we are … everybody should get the same thing,” he told reporters Monday afternoon, ripping the last-second cash infusions Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have made for states like Kentucky and Alaska, home of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a key undecided vote. “No, it doesn’t seem right.”

    Paul made it clear he’s still strongly opposed to the bill, both because of the process and the policy.

    “I’m just not for a trillion-dollar grant program that keeps most of the Obamacare spending,” he said. “This is thrown together sort of in a slipshod way … A lot of this is about electoral politics.”

    And he made it clear the basic structure of the bill is unacceptable to him.

    “In my mind a compromise does not include block grants,” he said. “I just don’t think this is repeal. … I believe that it represents Republicans accepting a trillion dollars of Obamacare spending.”

    Earlier today, Cassidy and Graham released a newer version of the bill that added more money to the states of those who either said no or leaned no: Arizona, Kentucky, Maine, and Alaska. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) wasn’t sold on the bill either, but she never said yes or no.

    The Washington Post reported that Alaska would receive “3 percent more funding between 2020 and 2026 than under current law, and Maine would get 43 percent more funding during that time period.” CNBC discussed the changes to Arizona and Kentucky:

    Arizona would gain $4.2 billion under the new draft calculations, roughly 14 percent, compared with a loss of $19 billion under the original plan. Maine stood to lose $2 billion between 2020-2027, but under the revised draft would gain nearly $1.5 billion. Kentucky would go from losing roughly $11 billion compared with Obamacare, to gaining $1.1 billion or 4 percent.

    Collins appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning and told host Jake Tapper that “[I]t’s very difficult for me to envision a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill.” She also said that she’s waiting for the CBO score to come out, which should happen today. Collins expressed concern for protections of those with pre-existing conditions and the costs of premiums and deductibles.


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    Everyone here can forget about any responsible reform while the GOPe is in charge. Throw as many of them (and Democrats) out of office as you can in 2018, then try again.

      Bisley in reply to Matt_SE. | September 26, 2017 at 11:00 am

      The problem here is control by the GOP leadership over most of their congressmen and senators, through the party supplying the money and organization to get them elected, and re-elected.

      The solution is to elect candidates in primary elections who are not supported by the party organization — and more likely to be guided by what their voters want, or what is good for the country, rather than following the orders of the party leadership and instituting policies bought by the major contributors to the party establishment.

        buckeyeminuteman in reply to Bisley. | September 26, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        When I lived in Orange-face Boehner’s district I voted for the Tea Party type Republican who ran against him in the primary. The guy’s campaign was headquartered in his garage. Boehner’s biggest contributors to his campaign were Boeing, Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems. How is an incumbent working out of his garage supposed to compete with companies like that?

        Going back to having Senators chosen from their own state legislatures would certainly help the problem. But it still wouldn’t go away.

          Bisley in reply to buckeyeminuteman. | September 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm

          It isn’t easy, or always possible, but it can be done. Eric Cantor is an example — Dave Brat and his supporters walked the streets, knocked on doors, talked to everyone they could, and dumped the number two Republican in the House. It’s largely a matter of informing people, and getting them to understand that the party organization is their enemy — the party responds to the money that funds the party establishment, and doesn’t give a damn what voters want, if it conflicts with what their donors want. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul all got elected to the Senate running against party-approved candidates. They already had public recognition and some degree of financial backing, which certainly helped, but still they fought the party organization and won. Brat, and several others, have done it with nothing but hard work and perseverance.

          Repealing the 17th Amendment (and granting state legislatures the right of recall, in the process) would totally change government and the Senate from what they are today. Senators were intended to represent their state governments to keep the feds from usurping all the rights and powers of the states. Under today’s system, they are responsible to no one, other than the party organizations and donors who get them elected. What they support,or oppose would be entirely different if they were once again responsible to their state governments.

    What’s wrong with Maine? The people there don’t seem particularly stupid, but they send a never-ending stream of idiots to Washington. You’d think they would elect a good one once in a while, if only by accident, but I can’t remember one.

      ghost dog in reply to Bisley. | September 26, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      I live in Arizona, so lack any credibility on criticizing Maine. We seem normal but like Charlie Brown keep sending the same people back to Washington to screw us over. It’s a dry heat.

    jack burns | September 26, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Content to be the loyal opposition. She’s not about to risk the best job in Maine by actually doing something she could be measured by, similar story for the rest of them.

    Did anyone really think she was considering repealing Obamacare? Collins just pretends to be weighing things and then has a spotlight interview where she lectures why nothing but Obamacare is good for the country. Repeal is dead until there is a 6+ cushion after the 2018 elections. By then the dumpster fire that is Obamacare with be death to many of the 10 Democrats in Red states.

    Did anyone really think she was considering repealing Obamacare? Collins just pretends to be weighing things and then has a spotlight interview where she lectures why nothing but Obamacare is good for the country. Repeal is dead until there is a 6+ cushion after the 2018 elections. By then the dumpster fire that is Obamacare with be death to many of the 10 Democrats in Red states…

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