Delaware Public Media

Delaware senators oppose latest ACA repeal attempt

Sep 20, 2017

Sens. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) and Tom Carper (D-Delaware) are opposing a new effort by Republicans to kill the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans plan to vote on the measure next week.

The proposal sponsored by GOP Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham, (R-SC) eliminates protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It allows states not to cover certain conditions and to impose work requirements.

Coons said Delaware could lose more than a billion in federal funding in 2027 if the Graham-Cassidy bill passes. Federal block grant funding to states ends in 2026. Federal dollars to states after that would be based on the state’s low-income population.

“To be clear, it would not be as harsh as the ACA repeal that was very narrowly defeated in late July," he said. "But in the long term, it would have even sharper impacts.”

The repeal and replace legislation also redistributes money from states like Delaware that expanded Medicaid coverage to states that shunned expanding benefits.

Coons also said he wants Republicans to wait until the Congressional Budget Office can estimate the number of Americans who will lose health insurance and the effect on premiums before voting. The CBO has said a score on those things will take several weeks.

“My hope is that Republicans will wait to vote on a bill of this significance until it’s got a score," he said. "What they should do is not vote on anything unless it’s come through a committee process. Through the sort of debate and discussion and amendment that was used to put together the Affordable Care Act.”

Senate Republicans have to pass a repeal and replace bill by September 30th. Otherwise, they’ll have to compromise on a bipartisan bill to win Democrats’ support. Bipartisan talks on stabilizing individual marketplaces collapsed this week.