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McCain says no to GOP health care bill that would impact thousands in Washington

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., center, joined by, from left, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Update: The Associated Press reports that Sen. John McCain won’t vote for the Republican bill that would repeal “Obamacare” and impact hundreds of thousands in Washington state.

McCain said, “we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats.”

Washington state’s insurance commissioner expressed concerns about the latest Republican attempt to replace “Obamacare,” including its lack of protection for people with pre-existing conditions.

Mike Kreidler told KIRO Radio’s Zak Burns that an estimated 657,000 people would lose coverage in our state under the Graham-Cassidy bill.

“I think it might not happen overnight, but it’s one of those that, over time, clearly will happen,” he said.

Listen to the entire interview with Kreidler here.

The Graham-Cassidy bill, which would repeal major portions of former President Barack Obama’s health care law, is “not well thought out,” Kreidler said.

The repeal effort is being headed by Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has to wrangle 50 votes in order to pass the legislation before the Sept. 30 — the day the rules preventing a filibuster from Democrats expire, The Washington Post reports.

The New York Times reports millions of people in the country could lose health care coverage if the bill passes. Additionally, Medicaid would see drastic cuts, including the 31 states that expanded it to provide subsidies for private insurance.

The Associated Press reports the repeal of “Obamacare” would redistribute billions in federal financing for insurance coverage, creating “winners and losers.” Analysts have warned that the bill would likely leave even more people uninsured than the number uninsured under “Obamacare.” The biggest changes would begin in 2020.

However, AP says McCain has likely dealt a “fatal blow” to the “last-gasp GOP measure.”

Here are the “winners and losers,” according to The Associated Press:

  • Winners — People who don’t believe the government should require individuals to purchase a costly private service like health insurance. The bill would repeal “Obamacare’s” unpopular requirements for individuals to have coverage and for larger employers to offer coverage. The trade-off is that without such a legal requirement, more people are likely to be uninsured. And an accident or unexpected illness can make that a costly decision.
  • Losers — People with health problems or with pre-existing medical conditions could be charged more if the state they live in obtains a waiver from current requirements that forbid insurers from charging higher premiums based on health status. States could also seek waivers from the current requirement that insurers cover 10 basic kinds of services, such as maternity and childbirth, or mental health and substance abuse treatment.
  • Winners — Medical device manufacturers. The bill would repeal an ACA tax on the industry. But it would leave in place Obama’s tax increases on upper-income individuals, a feature that may cause problems among some conservatives.
  • Losers — States that expanded Medicaid, including 17 with Republican governors. The more generous federal match for the expansion would be phased out, and some of the money would be redistributed to states that did not expand their programs.
  • Winners — People who use tax-sheltered health savings accounts for health care expenses. Contribution limits would be raised and consumers could use their accounts to pay insurance premiums, not just out-of-pocket costs such as copays and deductibles.
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