The House health-care bill is gaining momentum, and on Monday night the GOP posted amendments meant to add fence-sitters to the coalition. Don’t discount the stakes: The vote scheduled for Thursday is a linchpin moment for this Congress, and a test of whether the GOP can deliver on its commitment to voters.
For seven years and across four elections, Republicans have promised to repeal and replace ObamaCare if entrusted with the Presidency and House and Senate majorities. Now they have the opportunity to dispose of the failing law and begin to stand up a more market-oriented, patient-centered system. The reform isn’t perfect, and no bill ever is, but the reality is that a no vote is a vote for the ObamaCare status quo.
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Another insurer sued the U.S. government to recoup unpaid payments under the ACA’s risk-corridor program, but it’s looking less and less likely that the feds will ever pay up.
Sanford Health Plan, the insurance arm of Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health, sued the federal government, demanding it pay nearly $9 million in overdue risk-corridor payments for 2014 and 2015. The CMS so far has paid Sanford Health Plan just 15.1% of the amount it owes, according to the complaint filed last week in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
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The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) estimate of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) finds it will reduce deficits by $337 billion through 2026 (read our analysis here). But what would it mean for the long term?
While CBO hasn’t yet provided second decade estimates (other than to say the bill would not be deficit-increasing), we estimate – very roughly – that the bill would save $2 trillion over two decades, including $1.6 trillion between 2027 and 2036. Including interest, we estimate 20-year savings of $2.4 trillion. However, the bill also includes several “cliffs” that if addressed could significantly reduce that estimate.
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Republicans are talking about repeal-and-replace as “three pronged”—pass the current House bill, deregulation through Mr. Price’s executive action, and then measures that can later be attached to must-pass bills. Mr. Price’s letter is the beginning of prong two.
Republicans have an obligation to try to revitalize insurance markets, and not only because Americans depend on coverage. Repealing and replacing ObamaCare is also an opportunity to show that conservative ideas can work in health care. The reason the opposition is so furious is that liberals fear they might succeed.
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President Trump has mostly stayed on the sidelines of the messy policy debates regarding health care reform. But amid the war on Capitol Hill among Republican factions, he could seize the opportunity to provide leadership consistent with his campaign message to disrupt existing health policy.
Instead of trying to satisfy the free-market wing of his party, Mr. Trump could push for a solution that delivers on his populist promises by proposing universal catastrophic coverage, ending the specter of medical bankruptcy for many Americans. By providing catastrophic care for all, President Trump could ensure that everyone has an ultimate backstop against medical bankruptcy, while freeing the states to experiment with options for reform. It would also enable the private sector to offer new insurance products to supplement the basic catastrophic care coverage.
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House Republican leaders, racing toward a planned Thursday vote on their proposed health-care overhaul, unveiled changes to the legislation late Monday that they think will win over enough members to secure its passage.
The tweaks addressed numerous GOP concerns about the legislation, ranging from the flexibility it would give states to administer their Medicaid programs to the amount of aid it would offer older Americans to buy insurance. They are the product of two weeks of negotiations that stretched from the Capitol to the White House to President Trump’s Florida resort.
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Almost 30 years after leaving office, Ronald Reagan is widely considered one of America’s greatest leaders and the icon of the conservative movement. As a Republican member of Congress, I often speak at Lincoln-Reagan Day dinners and other events honoring his legacy.
Yet as I watch the debate over our House Republican plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, I’m struck by a question. Would President Reagan be acceptable to some of today’s conservatives? Does anyone remember that Reagan was a master of advancing his principles by looking for common ground and finding consensus?
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Millions may lose coverage next year if Congress does not repeal Obamacare. That’s not what this week’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis says, but it is reality. CBO’s estimating models seem impervious to reality.
In the real world, the Obamacare exchanges are in crisis, millions of uninsured people willingly pay or avoid IRS penalties, and consumers struggle with rising premiums and cost-sharing requirements.
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