Three new healthcare bills are set to hit the floor of the US Senate before the end of September, all with completely separate goals.
Republican Senators Lindsay Graham (SC) and Bill Cassady (LA) are preparing a bill to bring before the Senate before the end of the month, with the intention of bringing it before the voting body before the budget bill that allows for a healthcare bill to be passed with a simple majority expires.
The Graham/Cassidy bill is set to be unveiled Wednesday, as reported by CNN, and will likely be very similar to the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which the Senate was previously unable to pass.
Some Republican colleagues are not as optimistic about the bill, despite a massive public outcry for healthcare reform. When asked about what chance the bill has of passing before the end of September, Rand Paul shut it down, “I’m not hearing anyone talk seriously about it.” In addition, Republican leaders in both chambers of Congress seem to have moved on at this point.
While Graham and Cassidy are both looking for a Republican solution to Obamacare on Wednesday, Bernie Sanders plans to drag out a bill from his past. Introducing a near-copy of his 2013 bill, Sanders is proposing “Medicare for all” bill that would move the country to a single-payer-for-all program run by the government.
Of course there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of this passing through the US Senate (much less the even more Republican House), but it will likely set the tone for the Democratic Party going into the 2018 election, as it is reported that 1/3 of the Democratic Caucus will be behind this bill.
Of course, Bernie needs to get back in good graces with the Democratic Party, as the Vermont Independent is being named as a primary reason for Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 Presidential election, per her new book released this week.
And lastly, it is also likely that a bipartisan bill will be announced in the upcoming days. Coming from US Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), the bill will likely repair parts of Obamacare in an effort to stabilize the market heading into 2018. The bill is likely to muster public support, but less likely for that same support in the voting body.
NPR is reporting that insurance companies have until September 27 to agree to provide healthcare via Obamacare in 2018 and set their prices moving forward, which makes for an interesting next few weeks regardless of whether or not this bill makes it. Alexander has publicly said that this legislation will be small, but just enough to keep the market stable.
Alexander is the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which is what brings more attention to this bill than otherwise would have had. Murray is a Democratic ranking member on this committee, which shows the same bipartisanship and knowledge of the subject.
With such a short window of time for these bills to be accomplished, all three are looking rather hopeless. Healthcare reform has been a massive outcry of the American people, and a major issue for the Republican Party over the last eight years.
Like hundreds of millions of other Americans, if you are fed up with this healthcare nightmare and you want the US Senate to draft SOMETHING to fix Obamacare, let your Senator know.
Stay political, my friends.