Sen. Cassidy and Graham have "alternative" to health care plan

The plan keeps federal taxes but puts money into state's control

WASHINGTON (KTAL) - While it's uncertain if the current Senate Republican health care bill will have enough votes to pass, Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham presented an alternative plan to the GOP.

The Senators said this plan would basically keep federal taxes in place but redirect that money to states to control.

Senator Graham of South Carolina said it would allow governors to decide whether their states should keep the Affordable Care Act or not.

If they keep it, money would be directed to repair it. That money would come from the taxes on the wealthy a part of ACA that pays for insurance subsidies.

Senator Cassidy of Louisiana said they're not undermining Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's efforts but this bill would be an amendment.

"We've not seen the bill but we think whatever the bill ends up looking like will make the bill stronger. It returns the traditional Republican 10th Amendment Federalist principals of giving power to the states to then give power to the person," said U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, (R) Louisiana.

"We are going to keep taxes on the wealthy in place. We are going to repeal the individual mandate employer mandate. We are going to take about five-hundred-billion dollars and flow it back to the states with a formula that's fair," said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, (R) South Carolina.

Their bill turns the refundable tax credits into block grants which go to states. It's modeled after the Welfare Reform act of 1996 which replaced the federal entitlement program with block grants.

Senator Cassidy said they are drafting this amendment now and they'll submit it when leader McConnell calls the final vote.

It's unclear if they will have his support yet. 

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