Bipartisan Group Of Governors Rejects GOP Health Bill

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A bipartisan group of governors has declared its opposition to a Republican health care bill aimed at replacing Obamacare.

The group urged Republican and Democratic senators to instead continue joint efforts to stabilize Obamacare markets, according to The Hill.

The governors -- including John Kasich of Ohio, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, John Bel Edwards of Louisiana and John Hickenlooper of Colorado -- signed a letter addressed to Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray. Alexander and Murray are currently leading bipartisan talks on stabilizing Obamacare.

"Only open, bipartisan approaches can achieve true, lasting reforms," the governors wrote in the letter, according to The Hill.

Another signatory of the letter was Alaska's independent Gov. Bill Walker. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of three Republicans who voted against the GOP's failed attempt to repeal Obamacare in July.

"Legislation should receive consideration under regular order, including hearings in health committees and input from the appropriate health-related parties," added the governors' letter.

By contrast, President Donald Trump is urging Republicans to get behind the latest GOP effort to repeal Obamacare, which has been drafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy.

On Sept. 19, Trump sent Vice President Mike Pence back to Washington, D.C. from New York to encourage GOP senators to move forward with the Graham-Cassidy plan.

"Now is the time," Pence said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We have 12 days."

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Pence's statement was a reference to a Sept. 30 deadline for Republicans to pass legislation with a simple majority in the Senate. After Sept. 30, senators can no longer use the reconciliation process and would need 60 votes to pass a health care bill.

Pence was also reportedly set to tell Republican senators that House Republicans would not accept the bipartisan proposal being worked on by Alexander and Murray to stabilize Obamacare markets.

"I want to make sure that members of the Senate know the president and our entire administration supports Graham-Cassidy," Pence said, according to NBC News. "We think the American people need this."

Republicans have promised to repeal Obamacare since it became law in 2010, and Graham says he is determined to vote on the measure he authored jointly with Walker prior to Sept. 30. Graham traveled in Pence's plane from New York to Washington in order to make it back in time for a meeting of Republican senators.

"I have got Alan Greenspan, Jeb Bush and Steve Bannon" behind the bill, Graham said, according to the Times. "If anyone can do better, I'd like to meet them."

Sources: The Hill, Los Angeles Times, NBC News / Featured Image: Mark Nozell/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Gage Skidmore/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, NASA Kennedy/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

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