It’s crunch time for Republicans – again – on another healthcare bill, and it appears the bill is right on the edge of passage in the Senate.
The latest, and most likely last (at least for a while), chance the GOP has to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare, is the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson legislation. The plan would shift federal funding for healthcare to up-front block grants based on a state’s population.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, one of the bill’s authors, has said 48 to 49 GOP senators are on board with the plan. One Republican senator also told Politico the GOP was “one vote away from doing this thing.” Republicans need 50 votes to pass the bill – and their ability to do so without facing a Democratic filibuster expires at the end of the month.
Republicans can afford only two defections for the bill to pass. Here are the Republican senators who could decide the bill’s fate.
Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Why she could oppose: Murkowski voted against the most recent Senate Obamacare repeal plan. Her concerns included the loss of money for her state’s Medicaid program and the proposed defunding of Planned Parenthood. Both of those sticking points remain in the new proposal. In fact, one analysis from the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities projected that Alaska would lose $255 million through 2026.
Rand Paul, Kentucky
Why he could oppose: Well, he already said he plans to. Paul tweeted that the plan was “Obamacare-lite” and would do little to undo the regulatory structure of the current system. He also said the bill left in place the “entitlements” in Obamacare. The public repudiation seems to make him a safe “no” for now.
Susan Collins, Maine
- Alex Wong/Getty Images
Why she could oppose: Another senator who opposed the earlier Obamacare repeal plans, Collins could also be worried about the loss of funding her state could see. According to the CBPP, Maine would stand to lose $115 million under the plan. Collins has also opposed previous plans to defund Planned Parenthood.
John McCain, Arizona
- REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
Why he could oppose: McCain also voted against the previous Senate healthcare plan and was seen as the deciding vote in a dramatic late-night moment. McCain criticized the lack of committee hearings and the procedure on the new legislation when talking to reporters Monday. (Two hearings have been scheduled for the bill.)
The wild cards
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Several other states could end up losing money under the legislation. Senators such as West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito, who was on the fence about the previous healthcare legislation before ultimately voting for it, have expressed concerns about provisions such as Medicaid cuts that are part of the GCHJ.