Graham-Cassidy Returns Control of Health Care to States and Individuals

Graham-Cassidy Returns Control of Health Care to States and Individuals

The introduction of the new Senate health care bill – authored by senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin with an assist from former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum – comes after so many failed Obamacare repeal efforts that you can forgive the public for greeting it with caution. But the current law is a disaster – premiums and deductibles are spiraling upward while the latest official estimates show 1,478 counties, over 45 percent of the counties in America, will have just one insurance company in 2018. The 2017 reconciliation process protecting a Republican health care bill from filibuster expires on September 30. Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) is the last train leaving the station. All aboard.

GCHJ is a simpler bill than Republicans have previously offered. It repeals the individual mandate, which is imposing harsh tax penalties on people who can’t afford Obamacare’s sky-high premiums. According to the IRS, 83.7 percent of the nearly eight million individual mandate penalty payers made less than $50,000 in the most recent year for which data are available and 46.1 percent make less than $25,000. While the Congressional Budget Office still likes to pretend the mandate works, reality shows it leaves many Americans of limited means not just uninsured, but poorer than they were before.

GCHJ also repeals the employer mandate, which is holding small businesses under 50 employees. According to University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan, the mandate has destroyed…

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