On September 13, U.S. Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and former Senator Rick Santorum introduced legislation to make reforms to the U.S. healthcare system.
The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on Monday September 25. Lacking the votes to pass the bill, it was not brought to a vote by full Senate.
- Market-based Health Care Grant Program- this new program provides $1.167 trillion in block grants over seven years and replaces funding for subsidies and Medicaid expansion.
- Market Rules
- State waivers- allowed for premium rating (including health status rating), Essential Health Benefits, and Medical Loss Ratio rebates with respect to block grant funds.
- Pre-existing Conditions and Ban on Annual and Lifetime Limits- Not changed federally but state waivers may affect covered benefits and costs.
- Young adults- can still stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26.
- Expansion funding- Rolls back enhanced federal matching funds for states that expanded Medicaid.
- Medicaid Funding- replaces federal matching funds with a per capita cap per beneficiary and inflationary adjustments.
- Planned Parenthood- one year Medicaid funding freeze.
- Taxes and Tax Incentives
- Premium and cost sharing subsidies- phased out by 2020
- Individual and employer mandates - eliminated
- Health Savings Accounts- increases the limit on pre-tax contributions
- Medical Device Tax- repealed
- Short-term Funding
- Community Health Centers- $422 million in supplemental funding in FY 2017
- Reinsurance ($25 billion)
- Reimbursement of insurers for losses ($155 billion),
- Medicare- no changes to benefit enhancements or Medicare Advantage Plan payments
- Colorado Health Institute- "Graham-Cassidy Amendment: A First Look."
- Congressional Budget Office- "Preliminary Analysis of Legislation That Would Replace Subsidies for Health Care With Block Grants"
- Kaiser Family Foundation- "Proposals to Replace the Affordable Care Act."
- Kaiser Family Foundation- "State-by-State Estimates of Changes in Federal Spending on Health Care Under the Graham-Cassidy Bill."