House GOP Leadership Throws Support Behind Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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House Republican leadership voiced their support of a health care reform bill spearheaded by GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana Friday, calling on the upper chamber to take action to bring down premiums.

The legislation — released by Graham, Cassidy, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada — is aimed at replacing Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies with block grants provided to the states.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said after speaking with Johnson, he’s hopeful the upper chamber will renew its efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“There’s this Graham-Cassidy bill that I actually think has some real promise and potential,” the Wisconsin Republican told WISN’s Vicki McKenna Friday. “It’s basically federalism where you just block grant the whole thing. You block grant Obamacare back to the states. Just the whole thing.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy echoed Ryan’s sentiments on social media, praising the legislation for returning the power back to the states.

“#Obamacare is failing. #GrahamCassidy returns control to states and empowers them to innovate and stabilize costs,” he tweeted.

Cassidy told reporters Friday he believes they are getting close to having enough votes to pass the measure.

Following Ryan’s endorsement, Senate leadership requested the Congressional Budget Office to rush its scoring of the measure, Bloomberg reports.

Health care reform looked all but dead following the Senate’s failure to pass a watered-down repeal and replacement bill in late-July. But Republicans say they are “optimistic” they will be more successful in moving legislation this time around.

Conservative Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has been the most vocal critic of the legislation, arguing it “keeps 90 percent of Obamacare in place.”

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