Sen. Bernie Sanders (I.-Vt.) has introduced legislation to establish a single-payer nationwide system of health care, commonly dubbed Medicare for All, while Sens. Bill Cassidy (R.-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are trying to beat the odds with a last-ditch repeal and replace effort.
Problem with the two senators’ effort is that the reconciliation process, by which the Obamacare demise could be passed with just 51 votes, ends when October begins. After that, 60 votes would be needed.
To make matters even more complicated, President Trump is pushing Republicans to complete tax reform, which will consume most of the legislative agenda available.
The Cassidy-Graham bill, which is still being written, essentially takes all the funds currently being spent on Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies and Medicaid expansion under the ACA and parcels out block grants to the states, which can then do as they please so long as they spend the money on health care.
Bernie’s Medicare for All is a simple concept — just throw the program open for all — but in introducing his legislation, Sanders rarely mentioned cost.
POSTSCRIPT: The bill was introduced shortly after this was written.
“If you believe repealing and replacing Obamacare is a good idea, this is your best and only chance to make it happen because everything else has failed except this approach,” said Graham, who was also joined at his announcement press conference by Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).