Jul 13 2017
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today brought forward a new approach to health care reform that would redirect much of the current federal funding for Obamacare health insurance – an estimated $110 billion in 2016 – and future funding directly to the states to use for health care spending.
Graham has worked with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), a medical doctor, on the latest proposal.
“Obamacare is going to collapse,” said Graham. “Instead of having a one-size-fits-all solution from Washington, we should return dollars back to the states to address each individual state’s health care needs. Just like no two patients are the same, no two states’ health care needs are the same. A solution that works in California may not work in Virginia.
“A state like Vermont has expressed interest in a state-government run and financed single-payer system like they have in Canada,” said Graham. “If they want to again continue down that path, they would be free to do so under this proposal. South Carolina, on the other hand, would likely go in a different direction and use the federal funding to make private health care more affordable and available.
“Either way, the state would have a pot of money from the federal government to get the best health care outcomes for their residents.
“These funds are already being spent on Obamacare but instead of having Washington decide, we’ll empower each individual state to choose the path that works best for them,” continued Graham. “It’s time we empower those closest to people to work toward better health care that fits the needs of their citizens.”
Under Graham’s proposal:
- 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- The individual mandate and employer mandate instituted under Obamacare would be repealed under Senate reconciliation rules which only require 50 votes.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. 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.