Austin, TX—Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation released its analysis of the Senate’s latest effort to repeal Obamacare, known as the Graham-Cassidy Bill, along with the following statement:
“We applaud the Senate’s renewed efforts to find a path forward to repeal this catastrophic law,” said Chip Roy, director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Action. “The need to repeal Obamacare is increasingly acute as millions of Americans face escalating premiums and decreased access to both affordable care and insurance. Central to combatting rising premiums is removal of the burdensome Obamacare regulations that are driving up costs. That is the standard for the reforms necessary to liberate markets.
“Unfortunately, the Graham-Cassidy bill falls short of that standard. While the bill zeroes out both the individual and employer mandate penalties, eliminates the ill-advised and unconstitutionally funded cost-sharing reduction subsidies, and makes important strides in block-granting Medicaid to the states, it retains vast portions of Obamacare. Specifically, it keeps in place the cost-driving insurance regulations and mandates as the standard, but then provides partial, optional state waivers of only some of the regulations. Moreover, these waivers are conditioned on receipt of federal subsidies through a new $1.2 trillion grant program. Such a scheme creates moral hazard and leaves states subservient to the whims of federal bureaucrats while driving up costs.”
 “The $1.2 trillion health care grant program is not only extraordinarily expensive but would essentially redistribute Obamacare’s spending across states,” said Drew White, senior federal policy analyst. “This would create a looming fiscal cliff in 2027 likely to result in higher federal spending. Additionally, the optional and limited waivers will do little to drive down premiums and may in fact increase them given the bill’s perverse incentives to participate in Obamacare’s subsidy regime. In the end, this rushed legislation will not lead to the creation of a functioning free market, but will continue the highly regulated, federally-focused approach that has resulted in ever-increasing premiums and deductibles.”
Roy added, “the Senate should use this renewed legislative momentum to repeal the regulations actually responsible for rising costs. One way to get closer would be to make the regulations an opt-in rather than the default from which a state must seek a waiver, as TPPF has suggested before. Doing so would recognize the right of Texans, and all Americans, to purchase the healthcare and coverage of their choosing — tailored to their specific health needs, free of federal dictates. The Senate should be applauded for moving forward — but it needs to get to the heart of the problem if it wants to honor its commitment to repeal.”
TPPF’s analysis of the Graham-Cassidy bill, conducted by Chris Jacobs, can be found here