As Republicans seek (once again) to replace and repeal Obamacare, many Americans must be wondering what the future of their health care system will look like. Monday night will probably reveal how ideologically stable Republicans can make their plan sound, as CNN will be holding a town hall debate featuring Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy from the GOP against Vermont independent Bernie Sanders. Sanders will also be accompanied by Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. The debate will air on CNN but you can stream Sanders' Graham-Cassidy health care debate online.
CNN Go frequently allows internet users to stream its content for free. You can check the website for Sanders' debate with Graham and Cassidy on Monday night at 9 p.m. ET. If you're looking for a different place to go, check out Sling TV, DirecTV, or Playstation Vue. Sling TV and DirecTV will give you an option for a seven-day trial at no cost to you, while PlayStation Vue's free trial lasts for five days. In each option, you should be able to stream the exchange tomorrow night without hassle.
The highly anticipated debate arrives shortly after it was reported that the Republican party had crafted yet another effort to undo Obamacare. The Graham-Cassidy health care bill was first introduced by Graham and Cassidy, who have put considerable emphasis on allowing states to do what they please under the bill's block grant program. Republican health care bills often demand autonomy for regional states from federal pressure but critics believe that such carte blanche could hurt millions of Americans who need affordable and accessible health care services. In July, Cassidy justified his move and said, "A blue state can do a blue thing, a red state a red thing."
Even before efforts for the Graham-Cassidy bill gained momentum, the Congressional Budget Office highlighted the devastation that could be caused if states were given the power to waive ACA provisions. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, the CBO noted, would be forced to pay out of pocket if states gained such unchecked power.
The health care bill from the GOP has been strongly criticized not only by Democrats but also by medical associations, activists, and policy makers. Major medical associations in the United States have condemned the Republican health care bill in solid and clear terms. A joint statement from the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, America's Health Insurance Plans, and others resoundingly denounced Graham and Cassidy's bill and said that the bill "will cause patients and consumers to lose important protections, as well as undermine safeguards for those with pre-existing conditions."
Sanders' tentative points for Monday night's debate could prove critical in pushing against the GOP's latest campaign against the ACA. Josh Miller-Lewis, a spokesperson for Sanders, said that the CNN debate was "about exposing Graham-Cassidy as the most destructive piece of legislation in the modern history of our country."
Recent opposition from members within the GOP has also put the Graham-Cassidy plan in a tough place. On Friday, Sen. John McCain released a statement saying that he could not "in good conscience" support the latest crusade against Obamacare. McCain's opposition to the bill could prove to be the biggest dent against the Republicans' effort to kneecap the ACA.
"I believe," McCain said, "we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will [affect] insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it. Without a full CBO score, which won't be available by the end of the month, we won't have reliable answers to any of those questions."