Cassidy is now pushing his own right-wing Graham-Cassidy legislation, which does largely the opposite of what he publicly vowed to do, and which clearly fails the "Jimmy Kimmel Test". It seemed like he was being honest. "Now is the time". "It wouldn't have hurt us to wait a few weeks until health care was behind us before rolling out that bill", he said.
A new proposal known as "Graham-Cassidy" is getting close to having enough Republican support to move forward. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said on Tuesday that a bipartisan plan aimed at shoring up the system had failed. That blocking action is now staved off by budget rules that will expire at the end of the fiscal year.
This bill already has 48 votes.
Democrats have been united in opposing Republican efforts to make good on their years-long pledge to dismantle current law, a promise that also was central to U.S. Republican President Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Bernie Sanders for introducing a single-payer "Medicare for all" health care bill - which progressives largely support - last week.
Contrary to the Republican mantra, Obamacare is not imploding.
Four Republican senators unveiled a proposal last week that likely represents the last serious shot at health insurance reform in Congress before the September 30 deadline for reconciliation under the FY 2017 budget resolution. Bill Cassidy's new co-authored healthcare bill that would undo central components of ObamaCare and replace it with block grants - or federal funds - to the states. It would also preserve a tax on health insurers. (The Congressional Budget Office announced on Monday that it would release a "preliminary" analysis of the bill early next week, but that won't include an estimate of how many would lose coverage.) One in five women of reproductive age get their health insurance through Medicaid, and cuts to the program would put essential reproductive health services out of reach of many low-income Americans, especially black and Latino patients.
Democratic Senator Patty Murray blamed the failure of that effort on the push for the Cassidy-Graham bill.
"I am politicizing my son's health problems because I have to", he said to roaring applause from the crowd. Despite signs of momentum for the legislation, its fate is unclear. "But for example, we think that if you say 'adequate and affordable, ' a reasonable person would say, 'It's gotta be around the same price.' Now it's possible that someone has a different definition of 'affordable, ' but typically those people who have different definitions are trying to protect Obamacare, think it's the only way, and therefore they attempt to discredit our plan".
Collins was anxious that the new plan would dramatically slash Medicaid, and that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) would not have enough time to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the bill's effects. Any bill to repeal Obamacare would get 47 or 48 Republican Senate votes, including, it goes without saying, those of Tom Cotton and John Boozman.
Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman told reporters on Tuesday that he's still reviewing the bill and its impact on Ohio and will decide soon whether to support it. Bill Cassidy and other Republican governors in late July to help craft it.
"I don't know what happened to Bill Cassidy", Kimmel continued.
The clock is ticking.