Republican Health Care Bill Revised To Target Key Votes

Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham (R).

WASHINGTON (CNN) — As the Republican Party’s last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare hangs by a thread, a revised version of the Graham-Cassidy bill was circulated to Senate Republicans on Sunday (Sept. 24) with the aim of winning over key votes.

Even with the changes, leadership has an uphill climb — two senators, Rand Paul and John McCain — have already publicly opposed the bill. Others like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have deep reservations.

In an important nod to Murkowski, the revised bill says Native Americans and Alaska Natives enrolled in Medicaid expansion prior to 2020 could continue to be eligible after that point, according to documents circulated Sunday night to senior Senate aides and obtained by CNN. The state’s sizeable native population and that group’s unique health needs has been a serious concern for Murkowski.

Under the new plan, Medicaid expansion would end in 2020 and no states that haven’t already expanded could opt to do so. And also beginning in 2020, funding for the program would be changed to the per-capita model.

As in the previous version of the bill, the new Graham-Cassidy would repeal the individual and employer mandates — penalties imposed by the Affordable Care Act on people who don’t have insurance and certain employers that don’t provide coverage for employees.