The latest Republican move to repeal the Affordable Care Act and instead pay states to shape their own systems would hit Hawaii particularly hard, according to health care analysts.
The legislation proposed by Senate Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana would replace Obamacare coverage with grants to states.
In the process, it would take federal funds from states that chose to adopt the Medicaid expansion offered by the ACA — including Hawaii and 30 other states — and redistribute them to non-Medicaid expansion states.
The latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act is opposed by all four members of the Hawaii congressional delegation, including, from left, Sen. Brian Schatz, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Sen. Mazie Hirono.
The islands’ congressional delegates also were unimpressed by reports that Republicans might offer to exempt Hawaii and Alaska, allowing them in essence to keep the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid expansion that goes along with it, in an attempt to convince Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski to vote for the bill.
Murkowski, a Republican, cast a pivotal vote against a previous attempt to repeal the ACA.
Schatz expressed similar sentiments in a tweet Thursday morning, writing, “Every state should be able to keep their premium tax credits and Medicaid program. That’s not a special deal, that’s the current law.”
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