Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, who’s no vote was instrumental in ending an attempt to Repeal and Replace Obamacare, has indicated that he will support another effort being put forward by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana. However, it may be too late to bring the bill to a vote in the Senate.

What does the proposal do?

The Graham-Cassidy proposal would take the money spent by Obamacare to expand Medicaid and subsidize insurance in the individual markets and provide block grants to states, which would then craft their own health care solutions.

The plan is attractive to conservatives because it devolves power to the states and would seem to get rid of the cumbersome Obamacare bureaucracy. The arrangement would create 50 laboratories for health care reform, with the best-performing ones eventually being widely adopted. Best of all, President Trump has already expressed a willingness to sign such a bill into law.

Why it may be too late

On the other hand, Congress has only 15 legislative days left before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. The reconciliation rule under which an Obamacare Repeal and replace bill could pass runs out on that date. Congress is weighed down with agenda items ranging from tax reform to Harvey relief.

Even worse, the text of the bill has not even been written, not to mention considered by a committee under “regular order” and scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Another bipartisan bill is working its way to provide more subsidies for Obamacare health care policies.

Can the bill pass?

Anything is possible, all things considered.

However, the bill, when it is written, is bound to run into the same sort of opposition that every other Obamacare repeal and replace bill has run into. The special interests that stopped previous attempts are already mobilizing on social media.

However, two developments may help pass the bill this time. First, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, is absent from the senate due to his corruption trial.

The absence of his no vote and McCain’s flip on repeal and replace would be enough to get the bill through, provided that no other Republican senator goes wobbly.

The second development is that premiums, deductibles, and co-pays are set to have another double digit increase. At some point, the death spiral will be pronounced enough that something will have to be done to stop millions of people from being ruined. Propping up the existing system would be a very temporary fix, akin to shooting a failing heart full of adrenaline, and only postponing the inevitable.