U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, proposed a new plan to reform the country’s health care system Thursday that would redirect about $110 billion in federal funding for Obamacare to states to use as they see fit.
“Instead of having a one-size-fits-all solution from Washington, we should return dollars back to the states to address each individual state’s health care needs,” Graham said.
“Just like no two patients are the same, no two states’ health care needs are the same," he added. "A solution that works in California may not work in Virginia.”
States could set up a state-run single-payer system or use the money to offset the cost of private health insurance, he said.
“Either way, the state would have a pot of money from the federal government to get the best health care outcomes for their residents,” Graham said.
Under the proposal, the money would be block-granted to states and dispersed as tax credits, subsidies, health savings account premiums or other methods, and restricted to health care spending.
Medicaid funding to states would continue to grow “in a sustainable manner,” adjusted for inflation, with additional flexibility for states in how they spend the money.
The individual mandate and employer mandate to purchase or provide insurance would be repealed through Senate reconciliation, which requires just 50 votes.
But pre-existing conditions would continue to be covered, and the medical device tax implemented under Obamacare would be eliminated while other Obamacare taxes would remain.
“These funds are already being spent on Obamacare but instead of having Washington decide, we’ll empower each individual state to choose the path that works best for them,” said Graham, who worked with U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-LA, on the measure.
“It’s time we empower those closest to people to work toward better health care that fits the needs of their citizens.”