The Republicans are making a last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare, at least some of it. I’m always suspicious of anything with Lindsey Graham’s name on it. This proposal has some merit, but not much. I’m undecided at the moment.

On the positive side, Graham-Cassidy removes the mandates and allows states to construct their own mechanisms for administering Obamacare’s expansion. Governments don’t do well at managing much of anything, but state and local governments do better than Washington. States would compete to design the best plans and we would learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t from the process.

On the negative side, Graham-Cassidy retains most of the Obamacare taxes and accepts its entitlement mentality, while merely shifting administration from Washington to the states. Its proponents call this shift federalism, but that’s a stretch. Real federalism means that each state can raise revenue from its own citizens and design unique programs to meet state needs. Graham-Cassidy confiscates revenues from all citizens and block grants the money to states with federal strings attached. This is marginally better than having Washington run the program, but it’s not federalism.

If Graham-Cassidy passes, its amalgamation with the House repeal would be a dogfight.  It’s unclear what the final legislation would actually say, so this might be a case of Pelosi’s “voting for a bill to find out what’s in it.” It could get better or worse, most likely the latter.

In the end, Graham-Cassidy will pass or fail for political reasons. Republican senators who fear voters will hold them accountable in 2018 for not passing anything and/or have concluded that a complete repeal is not possible will probably vote for it. Those like Collins and Murkowski who seem to like Obamacare anyway will probably vote against it. Senator Paul will probably vote against it as well, but because he thinks we can do better.

Getting to 50 will be difficult. This will be an interesting week.



  1. taylor  •  Sep 25, 2017 @12:06 PM

    GOP must do something. Hold nose, pass G-C, and then get it right in conference

  2. brock_7  •  Sep 25, 2017 @8:50 PM

    Looks like GC just went down with Collins a no. GOP can’t get anything done.