Gov. Ducey defends support for Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal Obamacare

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Arizona Gov. Ducey
Credits: KGUN (screenshot from video)

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is upholding his support for the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Ducey is convinced that the latest Republican health care bill is the “best path forward.” He endorsed the Graham-Cassidy bill in a tweet on Monday even if he still doesn’t know its impact to Arizona.

On Wednesday, the Republican governor told reporters, “Obamacare is a failure. It’s time for it to go.”

In Arizona, 400,000 people were added to the state’s Medicaid program because of the existing health care law. When asked if he could guarantee that none of them will lose their health coverage, Ducey did give a direct answer. “Well, I haven’t seen the final bill,” that was his response.

Gov. Ducey doesn’t want a bill that penalizes Arizona

Based on his statement, Ducey still doesn’t the impact of Graham-Cassidy bill on Arizona. According to him, his staff is analyzing the possible effects of the legislation on the state’s Medicaid program.

He emphasized, “I don’t want a bill that is going to penalize Arizona.” He wants a bill that provides states with “maximum flexibility” for Medicaid and private insurance market.

A study from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities indicated that Arizona would suffer an annual loss of $1.6 billion by 2026. Ducey noted that the estimate came from a “left-wing or left leaning organization that has a real stake in maintaining the status quo.”

Ducey stressed that the main concern is repealing Obamacare, which he thinks the deciding issue during the elections over the past eight years. Additionally, he pointed out, “You can’t even call it a health care system” that delivers a product or service.

Furthermore, he criticized Obamacare as a system that takes care of the insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals. It “leaves patients with an insurance card the health care system won’t accept,” stated Ducey.

Fifteen Republican governors endorse Graham-Cassidy bill

Seal of Fifteen states

Meanwhile, the Graham-Cassidy bill continues to gain momentum. Fifteen additional Republican governors wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressing support for the legislation.

In the letter, the governors thanked the proponents of the bill that embraces a “simple yet profound concept.” They said it is the “last, best hope to finally repeal and Obamacare” because it provides states with adequately funded block grants, maximum flexibility and control.

“We call on the members of the United States Senate to move quickly to repeal Obamacare and replace it with flexible block grants to the states,” said the governors.

Here is the list of additional fifteen Republican governors endorsing the Graham-Cassidy bill:

1. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson
2. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb
3. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
4. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
5. Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin
6. Maine Gov. Paul LePage
7. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant
8. Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens
9. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts
10. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum
11. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin
12. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard
13. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam
14. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert
15. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker