Kliff writes that the plan leans toward rural states. "The complex funding formula used to divvy up the big pot of money would tilt more funding toward sparsely populated states. It advantages rural states that have fewer people per square mile than those with denser, more urban populations." As a Senate bill, that is not surprising.
Some hospital groups say the plan alarms them at first blush, but say they're still studying it, Harris Meyer reports for Modern Healthcare. "It will decimate the Medicaid program in California," said Jan Emerson-Shea, vice president for external affairs at the California Hospital Association, who estimated that as many as 5 million people in her state could lose coverage under the bill. "The redistributive effect of this proposal is worse than any other proposal surfaced this year."
|L-R: Sens. Dean Heller, Bill Cassidy, Ron Johnson, and Lindsey Graham at a press conference this morning to discuss their bill. (Associated Press photo by Andrew Harnik)|
In an interview with Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the bill will come to the floor if his allies can find the votes. "There’s a lot of discussion, but the time is running on that," he said. "It could well come up. If we have 50 votes, we’ll go to it." At a press conference this morning, Cassidy "said his informal whip count stands at '48 or 49' GOP votes," Tom Howell reports for The Washington Post. With 50, Vice President Mike Pence would break the tie for passage. The last repeal-and-replace effort got 49, with Graham's running buddy, John McCain of Arizona, casting the deciding vote against it.