(From The Washington Examiner)
A key development, however, has emerged since January. It should help garner the votes of previously recalcitrant Senate Republicans. Under the original Graham-Cassidy bill, the formula for the block grants was seen by some as disfavoring states that already expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare. The new formula phases in the grants in a way that ensures those particular states will not see what amounts to short-term cuts in federal funding.
This might make the new plan slightly more expensive in the short run, but still well within budgetary parameters, and still better than deficit-neutral. Moreover, the bill’s designers keep tweaking it to produce better risk-mitigation concepts and other ways to keep premiums lower.
Politically, the effort got a huge boost when Democrats (ironically) killed efforts to include an Obamacare insurance bailout within the recent budget agreement and spending bills. With that effort dead, key players such as Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., have indicated renewed willingness to go for a “big fix” because their smaller efforts to patch existing law are now dead.