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Key health programs at risk of lapsing as Obamacare repeal dominates D.C. debate

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Pediatric RN Shareem Wrease examines Trevor Rozier, 4, of Eastman, at Dodge County Hospital in Eastman, Georgia on September 21, 2017. This hospital benefits from several federal funding programs for hospitals that are rural, or treat the poor, or treat working class kids -- all of which are slated to see cuts or expire Sept. 30 if they're not renewed. (Rebecca Breyer)

Nearly one hundred and fifty million dollars to keep Georgia hospitals’ indigent care afloat. Funding for the PeachCare program that along with Medicaid covers about half of Georgia’s kids. Clear answers on Obamacare subsidies that Blue Cross said it needed to keep selling individual plans in metro Atlanta.

Those are some things that Congress has not taken care of — or even, in some cases, clarified its position on — as deadlines and expirations approach at the end of September. That’s this week.

Instead, all eyes in the Senate have been trained on a revival of the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, which happens to face the same deadline. Even as key votes slipped away Friday afternoon, Senate leadership had still announced no pivot, and weeks of crucial negotiating time remained lost.

The Senate has made nationwide headlines about the tightrope it has walked with the sudden decision to launch full-force back into the repeal debate. But left in the shadows now is yet another ticking clock, counting down on bread-and-butter programs that make the nation’s health care system function….

Read the whole story on myAJC: Graham-Cassidy obscures deadlines for other key actions on health care

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