Indiana lawmakers talk health care bill

Capitol Hill
In this photo taken Feb. 28, 2017, a flag flies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lawmakers return to Washington this week to a familiar quagmire on health care legislation and a budget deadline dramatized by the prospect of a protracted battle between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats over his border wall. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana lawmakers are reacting after a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act suffered a major blow.

On Friday, Sen. John McCain announced he will not support the bill called Graham-Cassidy. We’ve heard the chants from many Republicans for nearly a decade: End the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Indiana is no exception, with average premiums increasing in recent years and insurance providers dropping out of the health care exchange. It has scared some politicians that rates could continue to soar.

Efforts led by the Republican Party to pass changes to Affordable Care Act have failed so far, but they’ve hoped the Graham-Cassidy bill would end that.

The bill would give more power to the states on health care insurance policies.

But after Sen. McCain announced he would be a no vote, the bill may fail in the Senate.

“Not okay to promise for seven years that we would repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better, work at it for a few months, struggle, and walk away,” said Rep. Luke Messer, a Republican.

Democrats like Sen. Joe Donnelly say the bill could decimate states. Some studies say Indiana alone could lose $7 billion a year in federal funding. Donnelly said it could also cripple the Healthy Indiana Plan, which is mostly funded through the Affordable Care Act and provides health insurance to hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers.

“It just doesn’t make sense for our country,” said Donnelly.

Republican Rep. Todd Rokita said what’s called budget reconciliation will end in September. That allows a bill to pass with 50 votes in the senate instead of 60.

So this could be the final push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act before ten more votes would be needed.

A vote on Graham-Cassidy is expected as soon as next week.