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Can the GOP Win Paul, McCain, Cruz, and Collins on Obamacare Repeal With More Federal Dollars?

The last-gasp effort for GOP leaders who want to pass Graham-Cassidy is a promise of more federal dollars to four states represented by key holdouts.

Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz

Republicans are pouring federal money into the Graham-Cassidy health care bill for Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, and Maine, all in a last-gasp effort to win over four GOP holdouts on the last chance, for now, to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The Associated Press reported:

In a late stab at attracting votes, Republicans were adding $14.5 billion to the measure including extra funds for states of dissenting GOP senators, according to documents obtained late Sunday by The Associated Press.

A chart Republicans circulated said the legislation’s grants would provide 14 percent more money for Arizona than under Obama’s law; 4 percent more for Kentucky; 49 percent more for Texas; 3 percent more for Alaska, home to undecided GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski; and 43 percent more for Maine, home to Collins. Some extra money is specifically directed at sparsely populated states.

Will it be enough? As the Associated Press reported, it’s still a long haul for GOP leaders, given Paul and Cruz are opposed to fundamental policies in the bill, McCain is opposed to the process, and Collins has voted against every repeal effort so far.

GOP leaders received more bad news on Monday, with the news that only 20 percent of Americans support Graham-Cassidy. More than half (52 percent) are opposed.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) kicked off this week with an op-ed promoting his $25 trillion “Medicare for All” program.