Obamacare Repeal Coming Back For More

Zombie Trumpcare.

UPDATE: As Chris Cillizza writes for CNN, history would seem to be repeating itself on Trumpcare:

So, outside of a handful of people like Rep. Meadows (N.C.) and Rep. MacArthur (N.J.), leaders of the Freedom Caucus and the Republican moderates respectively, almost no one in the House GOP conference has actually seen the changed bill, much less approved of it. [Pols emphasis]

This is a problem. A big problem.

Why? Try to think all the way back to March 7 — it was more than a month ago, I know — when House Republicans introduced the much-ballyhooed American Health Care Act. Within days of its introduction, the legislation was doomed — as GOP members who hadn’t been a part of the behind-closed-doors crafting of the bill rebelled against this provision or that provision.

Sound familiar? A bill crafted by a small subset of House Republicans? CHECK.  Unseen, at the moment, by the bulk of the GOP conference? CHECK. Unbridled optimism without a ton of evidence to account for it? CHECK.

Perhaps Republicans will let Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) read the bill this time before they make him stump for the proposal.

Judging by how things have gone already, we wouldn’t cross our fingers if we were Coffman.

—–

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent reports the latest round of potential bad news for millions of Americans who have gotten health coverage via the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare:

House Republicans have been hinting they may introduce a new plan to replace Obamacare before the 100th day of the Trump presidency. Naturally, giving President Trump something to arbitrarily tout as an achievement (even if it passes the House, the Senate looms) in advance of the arbitrary 100-day mark is far more important than the human toll the proposal would have on millions.

Now Republicans are indeed set to introduce the new plan, multiple reports tell us. And judging by a new study set to be released today, it is even crueler than the last GOP plan: The study finds premiums would likely soar for the sick, probably pushing them off coverage.

…It allows states to seek a waiver to get rid of the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on charging higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions, on the condition that states set up or participate in high-risk pools that would help cover any of those people who lose insurance. It would also restore to the GOP bill the ACA’s requirement that insurers cover Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) — such as doctor’s and emergency room visits and maternity care — but allow states to seek waivers from them.

In effect, the waiver on preexisting conditions is designed to make conservatives happy, while giving moderates high-risk pools that allow them to argue it wouldn’t harm people with preexisting conditions. The restoration of EHBs is designed to make moderates happy, while telling conservatives states could still get out from under them.

The bottom line, says the Huffington Post, is that the new bill does more to placate the right wing than moderate Republicans–keeping in mina how both factions of the GOP opposed the previous iteration of the GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill, but for polar opposite reasons:

[W]ith Republicans effectively going back on their repeated promises to guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, the amendment could lose a number of Republicans who already supported the legislation. In short, even though the Tuesday Group and the Freedom Caucus think they have a deal, Republicans writ large might have nothing…

“This effectively allows states to eliminate the ACA’s guarantee of access to insurance at a reasonable price for people with pre-existing conditions, in the interest of lowering premiums for people who are healthy,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, said upon seeing a description of the proposal. “It seems to tilt heavily towards what the Freedom Caucus has been looking for.”

Whether this latest effort falls apart just like the last attempt remains to be seen. After the failure of the so-called American Health Care Act, President Donald Trump announced he was moving on to other priorities, and expressed hope that Obamacare’s “implosion” would motivate Democrats to come to the table. This new push for a GOP-led health care reform effort would seem to indicate that the political cost of abandoning the issue entirely is too high–Trump would rightly take the blame for Obamacare breaking down with no effort to stabilize it, but turning to Democrats to definitively fix the Affordable Care Act would alienate too many base Republicans.

So once more into the breach, dear friends, with the same basic deal everyone hates.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Republican 36 says:

    Let's go over this again. During the 2016 campaign, candidate Trump promised over and over again that he would repeal Obamacare and replace it with health insurance that covered more people than Obamacare at a lower cost. He also promised in stone that those with preexisting conditions would remain insured.

    His first attempt at passing a health care bill is now in the dust bin of history and it fell well short of fulfilling his campaign promise.

    Now, Trump is attempting to revive his failed bill with a few tweaks that will guarantee millions of people will lose their health insurance and those with preexisting conditions won't be insured in the future all in the name of being able to proclaim he did something (in his first 100 days) about health insurance regardless of how many millions of Americans are striped of their coverage and suffer illness, injury or death because of it.

    Real political leaders care about what their policies and decisions will do to people both as individuals and collectively. Politically, it always pays dividends to think about that. If Trump and the Republican House and Senate enact the latest version of his bill, they will pay a heavy price in the next election. Rationalizing their support in terms of "we promised to repeal Obamacare" isn't politically wise, especially when they tell millions of Americans, including Trump voters, you can't see the doctor.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      All our Colorado Republicans are telling their town hall audiences that they want to keep coverage for pre-existing conditions, keep kids on parent's insurance until 26, get rid of the mandate to buy insurance, and make it "accessible".

      Cowardly Cory doesn’t do town halls; he apparently still thinks that he doesn’t have to.

      That's Coffman, Lamborn, Buck,Tipton….and of course the Dems, who have also had town halls and met with constituents, want to keep the ACA intact and to improve it.

      So after confronting their constituents and telling them that this was the hill they'd die on, they're going to turn around and vote for something less?

      Well, yes, of course they will. If we let them get away with it.

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        MJ:

        Let me help you.

        You speak for the losers of the last election.

        The winners of the last election get to decide what will get passed.

        That was decided last November, much to your chagrin.

        The Republicans know the astro-turfed town halls were set up by the Dems and largely theater. The website coordinating them lists their not so middle of the road supporters as:

        "We are also proud to partner with CAP ActionMoveOn.orgNextGen Climate, and other progressive allies in supporting grassroots action to hold our elected officials accountable."

        A health care plan will get passed which will have much skinnier mandates. That will mean the plans cover less and are less expensive. There will be no mandate. My guess is there will be less free loaders on the system as well.

        The savings will be used as an offset for tax reform.

        Elections have consequences.  Awful candidates without a message lose.

        • Pebble says:

          Drew, let me help YOU. 

          The "winners of the last election" have so far done jack shit nothing. Controlling both chambers, they were unable to pass their own health care repeal law because it was so bad members from both sides of the aisle were running away from it. This, after having 7 years to come up with something competent and failing, miserably.

          The "winners of the last election" are just delayed losers. What good is a mandate if you don't have the ability to get your own party in line? 

          Morons, all. And you're marching in lock-step with President Idiot and his dipshit pals.

        • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

          AC, nice try. The GOP reps are in panic because of these town halls and constituent phone calls, not to mention marches and rallies. They understand that their collective asses will be grass when their next re-election comes around. In Colorado, voter suppression doesn't work anymore. (Thanks Angela Giron!)

          So y'all can't just keep Dems from voting. Nationally, you will certainly get your evil wishes and many more people, mostly poor and working class whites from Trump's low-info base, will be hurt.  They won't necessarily buy your claim to blame their pain on Teh Muzlimz and Teh Mexkins anymore.

           Coffman made sure that every body in that door of his town hall had a Colorado constituent address ID. And they still told him what they told him, and he had to listen and take it. Your BFF Buck showed up at the town hall in Longmont. He didn't card people at the door, but rhapsodized about how much he enjoyed seeing all the civic engagement. You might want to get onto the same page with him. Unless, of course, you think that he's lying.

          • Andrew Carnegie says:

            MJ:

            So Buck wins CD-4 by 25% instead of 30%?

            Some panic.

            All 25% of the Dems in his district will vote Dem, who cares?

            All 50% of the Republicans will vote Republican.

            When you run a high-school music teacher with no funds against him why would you expect a different result.  He got 32%.  How about a local prison guard with no funds?  He got 30%.   Do the Dems have anybody who is real and currently holds an elected office that will run against him? The Dems have no bench and no message and therefore no chance.

          • Roger Edwards, Candidate CO 6th DistrictPowerful Pear says:

            You are going all Unabomber again.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          A health care plan will get passed which will have much skinnier mandates – 

          Hope springs eternal, right Andy? Let's look at your team's accomplishments to date:

          1.   No work started on The Wall yet.

          2.  The "Moose Lamb" ban can't pass constitutional muster.

          3.  Tax reform is dead in the water until You-Know-Who releases his tax returns.

          4.  The Repeal and Replace bill had to be pulled from the floor because big enough factions in both wings of the GOP refused to support it.

          5.  Well, at least you got Gorsuch confirmed.

          Maybe next year as the election gets closer, your party will grow a pair and pass its ambitious agenda.

          • Andrew Carnegie says:

            R and R:

            Illegal immigration is way down.

            We have another Conservative Justice.

            We lost our wimpy foreign policy.

            And many of Obama's executive orders have gone by the wayside.

            I'd say it has been a productive first 90 days.

        • Republican 36 says:

          Who won the 2016 election isn't the issue.

          Donald Trump promised in stone he would repeal Obamacare and replace it with health insurance that would cover more people than Obamacare at less the cost. Neither the original plan pulled from the House floor a month ago or the new version comes close to fulfilling his promise. That's the issue. Trump is openly admitting he lied to the voters in the 2016 campaign.

          By the way, don't put too much stock in the results of the 2016 election. Looking at the House and Senate races the Republicans lost two senate seats and a half dozen in the House. That's not a ringing endorsement by the public to repeal Obamacare. The only "ringing" endorsement was President Trump's victory by 3 million votes less than his opponent and, in large part, based on his promise to expand health care insurance to cover more people at less cost than Obamacare. The plain truth is his latest proposal represents another clear indication he lied to us in the campaign.

          Voters don’t appreciate being misled. Your position appears to be elections have consequences, including lying to the voters which, in essence, you defend as all right as long as a Republican is the one lying. You have a curious moral sense.

  2. skeptical citizen says:

    This repeal bill is closer to the Republicans true mission:

    Repeal and replace

    The Republicans will of course conveniently dismiss the history of how terrible the health insurance market had become prior to the ACA (Obamacare).

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      Yes, the terrible humanitarian crisis we had in 2009.

      The reason no one trusts the left is you say stupid things. Most of us were alive in 2009 and know it wasn't that bad before Obamacare. I'd take the 2009 status quo back in a second.

      • DavieDavie says:

        Eh, what's an extra 45,000 deaths each year, and tens of thousands of personal bankruptcies due to inability to pay hyperinflated medical bills?

        You got yours, so the hell with everyone else, right Moldy?

        Social Darwinism at its best.  But I can see an idiot like you some day winning a different Darwin Award.

      • skeptical citizen says:

        47 million uninsured Americans is NOT a humanitarian crisis?

        You have no soul, Moddy-troll.

        Recissions and pre-existing condition denials were also a crisis.

  3. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    Except for the people who will die, I would say let them destroy the system so voters finally get this is what they want.

    unfortunately that will kill too many people for my conscience to withstand.

  4. RepealAndReplace says:

    They may be doing this just for PR purposes…..

    In 1995, when the Contract on America called for a vote on constitutional amendment to impose term limits, Newt gave voters what they were promised…..the House voted on it. And it lost. (They never guaranteed success.)

    Now, the House will vote on this thing – seen by few, understood by none – and send it to the Senate where it will never be heard of again.

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