The U.S. Senate plans to hold a vote this week on the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. There’s just one problem.
It does not repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The much-touted Graham-Cassidy bill does not repeal Obamacare coverage. It doesn’t repeal the Obamacare exchanges. It doesn’t repeal the individual mandate, the employer mandate or the penalties. It only reduces the penalties to zero—but the mandates and penalties stay in law. Another Congress can simply raise the penalties even higher than they are today.
The bill also doesn’t repeal the costly government requirements for insurance companies. It doesn’t repeal federal control. It keeps most of the taxes and 90 percent of the spending the Democrats and President Barack Obama put in place. This is not a repeal. This is the Republicanized Affordable Care Act.
Here are 12 facts the public may or may not know about the Graham-Cassidy bill, authored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R.-La.), as promulgated in a Citizens' Council for Health Freedom Action Alert:
- It does NOT repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- It does NOT repeal the individual and employer mandates; it only zeroes out the penalty dollars.
- Maintains dependence on ACA’s federal and state exchanges.
- The federal government is still in charge, unless states reassert their 10th Amendment authority.
- ACA insurance regulations remain nationalized and under federal control.
- Sets up three state-based funds using federal dollars collected under the ACA.
- Unelected federal bureaucrats determine funding formulas.
- Unless prohibited, federal funds could “turbocharge" single-payer in states.
- Only the smallest of the ACA’s 19 taxes are repealed.
- ACA “qualified health plans” would be prohibited from offering abortion other than in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
- Allows all individuals to buy Obamacare catastrophic plans beginning January 1, 2019.
- The September 30 “deadline” for repeal is “fake news,” says Chris Jacobs of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Chris Jacobs of the Texas Public Policy Foundation expertly pointed out some of the untruths of the Graham-Cassidy bill. Too many people in the media and elsewhere are being far too loose with the word “repeal,” regarding both the bill itself and its provisions.
Twila Brase is president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a Minnesota-based national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights.