Senate Republicans have until September 30 to repeal Obamacare through the budget reconciliation process before the end of the fiscal year.
The “Graham-Cassidy” bill is their last real shot at doing so this time around. The bill works by doling out block grants to the states, who would then be responsible for overseeing their own system of insuring residents and helping them to pay for their healthcare. The bill would reduce the amount of federal spending overall, and would also repeal the individual and employer mandates.
The Democrats’ leaders have demanded a review of the bill’s impact on Americans by the Congressional Budget Office, but the CBO says that a comprehensive review could take multiple weeks to conduct.
Among Senate Republicans there are also critics of the bill, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who says it does not go far enough, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who has expressed concerns about her state getting shortchanged under the new block grant process.
Even if the Senate manages to pass Graham-Cassidy, there still needs to be time to send the bill to the House for a vote in that body, where criticisms and concerns remain as well.