NORTH CAROLINA -- A new GOP-lead push to overhaul Obamacare has lawmakers buzzing around the country.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Bill Cassidy, Sen. Dean Heller and Sen. Ron Johnson released the bill on Wednesday.
The proposal would transfer the money used for federal subsidies and Medicaid expansion to the states through block grants.
States would then use the federal money to create their own health insurance plans.
The Congressional Budget Office has not released a report on how much money each state would receive under the plan.
A new analysis by Avalere Helath, a non-partisan health-policy consulting firm, estimated 34 states would lose funding under the proposal.
According to Avalere, North Carolina would be out about $1 billion from 2020-2016. That's a 13% reduction in healthcare funding from the federal government.
WFMY News 2 reached out to our state lawmakers to hear what they think about the bill. After all, they would be the ones tasked with creating a new healthcare system for North Carolina.
Rep. John Hardister, R-Guilford, is a fan of the new bill.
"We are closer to our constituents than a National Capitol. The state level is where the action should be. The Federal Government needs to get out of the way and let the states innovate."
On the other side, Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, said she is against the proposal.
"This is a very significant, very disruptive bill. It's mostly meant to repeal Obamacare before the September 30 deadline. It has nothing to do with providing adequate Medicare for North Carolinians or Americans in general," Rep. Harrison said.
Harrison and several of her Democratic colleagues are concerned that the bill loosens protections for people with preexisting conditions. The bill allows states to apply for waivers of the current protections people with preexisting conditions have under the Affordable Care Act.
Governor Roy Cooper (D): “The latest proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act may be even worse than previous proposals: raising premiums, weakening protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and slashing over $1 billion from North Carolina’s Medicaid program. North Carolina’s middle-class families will be worse off if this passes. Senate Republicans in Washington must work with Democrats to reach a bipartisan solution that expands health care coverage and makes it better.”
U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC): "Over the last several years, Obamacare has hit hardworking North Carolina families with skyrocketing premiums and fewer choices, while small businesses have struggled to comply with the law's costly and burdensome regulations. We cannot accept the status quo as Obamacare continues down an unsustainable path. The majority of members of Congress must keep their promise to the American people to come up with solutions that puts health care back in the hands of the patients instead of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. Recently, a proposal came forward in the Senate from Senators Graham and Cassidy that gives states more control and flexibility over how they choose to spend money and take care of individuals in their respective states while maintaining important protections like pre-existing conditions. Our nation's vast diversity results in North Carolina having different health care needs than other states like California or Montana. The failures of Obamacare have made it clear that a one-size-fits-all system controlled by the federal government has not worked, and the Graham-Cassidy proposal is a great first step in a long process that will require further action from Congress and the Administration to find solutions that works for all Americans."
Senator Leader Phil (R-Guilford, Rockingham): “Obamacare dramatically increased health insurance premium costs for North Carolinians and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in unfunded Washington spending mandates that diverted our state's tax dollars from priorities like increasing teacher pay. It is far too early in the process to comment on how a final Obamacare repeal bill might impact the state budget, but ending the catastrophic Washington takeover of healthcare is good policy.”
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