Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., was confident before Democrat Doug Jones’ upset win in Alabama the outcome wouldn’t change the calculus for bringing back up his Obamacare repeal bill next year.
“I don’t think that affects us at all,” he told the Washington Examiner on Monday, a day before Jones defeated controversial GOP nominee Roy Moore to join the Senate. “Whoever wins is gonna vote for it.”
Jones’ win brings the Republican majority in the Senate to 51-49, leaving the GOP with even less margin for error if they go back to Obamacare repeal next year.
Cassidy’s repeal and replace bill also led by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., would take Obamacare funding and give it to states via block grants.
He said there are some states represented by Democrats that would do “fantastic” under Graham-Cassidy, including Virginia and Florida.
“They are going to do so much better under our bill than under status quo,” he said. “If it comes back up we will do a better job of asking them why they are not making their state eligible for billions more.”
Under the bill, states that did not expand Medicaid like Alabama would get more money while states that did expand get less.
The goal of Graham-Cassidy was to give power back to states to develop their own healthcare program. It repealed most of Obamacare’s mandates and cut traditional Medicaid via per capita caps that limit Medicaid funding for a state per beneficiary.
Several Republicans have said they hope to go back to Obamacare repeal in 2018. However, it remains unclear if there will be enough Republican support to do it.
Three GOP senators joined all Democrats to defeat a “skinny” repeal bill that gutted most of the law’s mandates. Graham-Cassidy also failed to even get to the Senate floor in late September after support collapsed among a handful of Republicans.