Nurses Join Jimmy Kimmel In Opposing Healthcare Reform Bill
On Tuesday GOP leaders introduced their newest healthcare reform bill - the Graham-Cassidy Bill. It is scheduled for hearing on September 25th and will be the GOPs first hearing on healthcare.
Does The Bill Pass Cassidy’s Own “Jimmy Kimmel Test?”
Late Night Talk Show Host, Jimmy Kimmel, who has aligned his platform with healthcare reform following his heartwrenching experience with the healthcare industry upon the birth of his son was, until recently, allied with U.S Senator Bill Cassidy. Or, so we thought.
Cassidy was one of the millions who watched Kimmel’s monologue - and reached out to the comedian regarding health reform. Cassidy appeared on Kimmel’s show and coined the “Jimmy Kimmel test” for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Kimmel went so far as to endorse Cassidy’s healthcare plan live, on-air.
Following Kimmel's on-air endorsement of the healthcare reform — Cassidy said any Senate plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare should pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test."
"I ask, does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test? Will a child born with congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in the first year of life? I want it to pass the Jimmy Kimmel test," Cassidy told CNN when asked if he could support a plan that included yearly or annual insurance caps.
He added that his "simple answer is - I want to make sure folks get the care they need."
In his most recent monologue, Kimmel attacked Cassidy stating, the last-ditch Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill co-authored by Cassidy and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R- South Carolina) flucks the “Jimmy Kimmel Test.”
Cassidy has responded to Kimmel’s claims stating, "I’m sorry he does not understand," Cassidy said on CNN's "New Day.” He stated that under the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, more people will have coverage and individuals with pre-existing conditions will remain protected.
According to Chris Jacobs a conservative policy analyst with Juniper Research Group, neither Kimmel nor Cassidy should publicize their case on TV. Stating, “In my view, neither are correct - or at the very least, neither should be certain in their assertions.”
He continued, “I’m agreeing with Jimmy Kimmel that healthcare is complicated so, reducing it to simple talking points - that means you too, Jimmy Kimmel - often belies the reality of the situation.”
The September 30, 2017 Deadline Quickly Approaches
September 30th marks the end of the government’s fiscal year. This means any bill passed after that date will require normal senate processes - including needing 60 votes. After that, Republicans won’t be able to use budget reconciliation, a special Senate procedure that allows them to pass the bill with only 50 votes rather than the usual 60.
Senate Republican’s first effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act collapsed in the late hours of July 28th. The bill received stark criticism because it did not go through any committee hearings. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) included the lack of hearings as his key objection for voting the bill down,
“We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people,” McCain remarked at the time.
The Graham-Cassidy Bill
The bill would give almost all federal money currently used to fund Obamacare to individual states. Ultimately, it would remove the federal government’s role in healthcare while totally eliminating Obamacare. In short, states would have total power to do what they please with the federal funds that are issued for healthcare.
Critics of the bill report that, under Graham-Cassidy - premiums would heavily increase for anyone anyone with a pre-existing conditions. According to the Center on Budgets and Policy Priorities - a nonpartisan group - the bill would result in the reduction of subsidy programs, such as medicaid, by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years.
Many have argued that the Cassidy-Graham bill ultimately turns health care over to the states and does not provide restrictions as to how states reconstitute their individual system.
President Trump Endorses The Healthcare Bill
Friday, President Donald Trump encouraged Republican senators to continue to support the bill. He tweeted his support of the Graham-Cassidy Bill and urged undecided Republicans to not be the "Republican who saved Obamacare."
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has publicly opposed the bill saying that it does not go far enough to repeal Obamacare, he said he will vote against it.
The GOP can only afford two defections for the bill to pass.
Mitch McConnell Senate Majority Leader said he intends to bring the Graham-Cassidy bill to the floor of the senate next week.
Currently, only 26 Republican Senators support the bill.
Healthcare Industry Opposes The Bill
The bill has already received heavy objection by dozens of groups including doctors, nurses, hospitals, patients and insurers, including:
- The American Nurse Associatio is also in strongly opposes the bill, calling it “the worst health care bill yet.”
- The American Medical Association
- America’s Health Insurance Plans sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer voicing their concerns regarding the bill.
- Kaiser Family Foundation released a statement opposing the bill. According to their analysis, Thirty-five states are expected to lose funding by 2026 under Cassidy-Graham.
- The American Medical Association sent a letter to the offices of McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) opposing the bill.
- The American Hospital Association’s CEO, Rick Pollack, stated in a press release that the organization opposes the Graham-Cassidy Bill and they “continue to urge senators to work in a bipartisan manner to address the challenges facing our healthcare system.”
- 16 patient and provider groups joined together in opposition of the bill, they include:
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Lutheran Services in America
March of Dimes
National Health Council
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
National Organization for Rare Diseases
Volunteers of America
Sen. McCain Opposes Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill
On Friday Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., released an official statement opposing the Graham-Cassidy health care bill.
He stated, “I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal. I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried," he said in a statement.
"Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it."