The latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act might have lost two pivotal votes Friday. A report said that Alaska would lose $1.7 billion under the Graham-Cassidy bill, potentially losing Sen. Lisa Murkowski's vote; that same day Sen. John McCain said he would not support it.
Senate Republicans' latest bill to repeal and replace the ACA with a block grant system would slash federal Medicaid and marketplace funding to Alaska by $1.7 billion from 2020 to 2026 compared to current law, a new analysis shows.
The report from consulting firm Manatt was commissioned by Alaska's Department of Health and Social Services. It estimates that while the state would receive more federal funds in 2020 and 2021 under the Graham-Cassidy bill, it would lose 36% of its federal funding for Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies in 2022.
The loss would grow to 53% in 2024 until reaching 69% in 2026. From 2020 to 2026, Alaska would lose a total $1.7 billion, or nearly one-third, of its federal Medicaid and marketplace funding as a result of the block grant.
The analysis comes amid reports that Senate GOP leaders are crafting a version of the Graham-Cassidy bill that would be more attractive to Alaska Republican Murkowski in terms of funding for her state, which has high medical and insurance costs and expanded Medicaid under the ACA.
Murkowski's vote is seen as pivotal for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get the 50 votes he needs to pass the bill before Sept. 30 with a simple majority. Murkowski was one of three GOP senators, along with Maine's Susan Collins and Arizona's McCain, who voted against the last repeal bill in July, killing it.
But obtaining those votes is becoming more difficult. McCain on Friday said he will oppose the bill, potentially ending Republican's chances to repeal the ACA before the end of the month, when their authority to pass the bill through a budget reconciliation process expires.
"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," McCain said in a statement.