NEW ORLEANS- "If the proposed replacement, although not perfect is better than the Affordable Care Act, then I'm going to be for it," U.S. Senator John Kennedy said.
For that reason, Kennedy supports Senator Bill Cassidy and South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham's health care bill.
"It's not a perfect bill, but it's a good bill."
Republicans say the proposal would create block grants for individual states. It would then be up to the states to decide how to use the federal money to help people who currently depend on the Affordable Care Act.
The proposal also raises questions about whether insurers would be required to cover preexisting conditions. It would also allow people under age 26 to stay on their parents plans.
All democrats have stated that they refuse to vote 'yes.'
Republicans are still several votes short, but are optimistic they will have the votes needed to pass the proposal before the end of the month.
"As a physician who deals with people in New Orleans and I also work in rural Louisiana, I will tell you this hurts people," Dr. Van Sickels said. "We have over 400,000 people in Louisiana on Medicaid who are accessing primary health care, who are coming to health centers, staying out of the urgent care and acute care settings who are getting screenings for cancer, cervical cancer, for colon cancer and general wellness. And that's what this bill will hurt. It will hurt people in Louisiana harder than some other states."
"Medicaid was suppose to be a bridge, not a parking lot. And it's become way too much of a parking lot," Kennedy said.
Governor John Bel Edwards opposes the Graham-Cassidy health care bill.
"I don't have any doubt that Louisiana would be one of the states that come out the worst under that particular proposal."
Governor Edwards feels the bill needs bi-partisan backing.
"I was able to sign on to a letter just yesterday with a total of 6 governors, democrats, republicans and independents that are recommending that Congress, particularly the Senate, not move forward with the Graham-Cassidy bill," Governor Edwards said.
Senator Kennedy says he wants to add four amendments to the bill. Two of them include eliminating the single payer system, something democrats and Democratic led states are pushing for.
Kennedy also says he wants to implement a work requirement for the Medicaid program.
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