After Graham-Cassidy Fails, Medicaid Healthcare Resources for the Most Vulnerable, Including Homeless, Remain Intact
On September 26, 2017, the U.S. Senate announced it will not hold a vote on its latest proposal – frequently referred to as Graham-Cassidy – to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
This announcement ends the latest efforts to significantly change the current health care law. The Senate has a deadline of September 30, 2017 for any repeal effort that would only require a simple majority.
Most importantly for people experiencing homelessness, this announcement means that Medicaid’s structure and funding remains intact. Medicaid has been essential in the fight to end homelessness, and we will continue to advocate for creative and efficient uses of this Federal funding to help our most vulnerable.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that the revised version of the Cassidy-Graham Proposal Is more of the same. The revised Cassidy-Graham ACA repeal bill makes some changes to funding formulas, but it retains the core structure — and harmful components — of the original bill, which would ultimately cause tens of millions of people to lose health coverage and weaken coverage for millions more.
The Graham-Cassidy bill proposed taking money under the Affordable Care Act for insurance subsidies and the expansion of Medicaid and giving it to states in the form of block grants.
The New York Times reported on Senator Mitch McConnell’s commentary on the Senate announcement. “We haven’t given up on changing the American health care system,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said after a lunchtime meeting of Republican senators. “We are not going to be able to do that this week, but it still lies ahead of us, and we haven’t given up on that.”
According to the Times, Democratic leadership in the Senate pledged to continue to fight to protect the Affordable Care Act. “We hope we can move forward and improve health care, not engage in another battle to take it away from people, because they will fail once again if they try,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader.