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Latest Senate Trumpcare Bill Features These Backroom Deals

By  Aaron Bandler

The Senate Republicans have reached a point of desperation in passing their version of Trumpcare: they’ve resorted to the same type of sleazy backroom deals that were used to pass Obamacare.

Christopher Jacobs exposed the backroom deals in a piece in The Federalist. They are mostly focused on wooing Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a liberal Republican, through various kickbacks to Alaska.

The deals that favor Alaska are as follows:

  • Allocating 1% of the fund established to help states lower premiums toward states which have “premiums are at least 75 percent higher than the national average.” Alaska is the only state that under this category.
  • Medicaid hospital payments would be “based on a state’s overall uninsured population, not its Medicaid enrollment.” Alaska would receive more federal dollars under this formula since the state decided to expand Medicaid under Obamacare in September 2015.
  • States that expanded Medicaid during the July 1, 2015 – September 2016 timeframe would receive higher Medicaid payments. Alaska would fall under this category.

Jacobs also noted that Louisiana would also receive higher Medicaid payments under the aforementioned deal, which is presumably aimed at trying to win over Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who has yet to make a decision on the bill.

Another backroom deal involves the federal government completely matching federal funds to state Medicaid payments toward those in the Indian Health Services program. This is essentially a payoff to South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), who has stated that he would expand Medicaid in his state if this was covered.

The final backroom deal listed in Jacobs’ piece is called the “Buffalo Bribe,” which leaves in place a provision from the House version of Trumpcare that “would essentially penalize that state if it continues to require counties to contribute to the Medicaid program’s costs” as a payoff for upstate New York congressmen.

Remember when Republicans criticized the sleazy backroom deals under Obamacare? They are now engaging in similar tactics to get their version of Obamacare passed, which shows that they are no different than the Democrats.

Follow Aaron Bandler on Twitter.

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