The current situation presents an opportunity to replace the Affordable Care Act with a more sustainable bipartisan law. But repeal must wait until a consensus is built around a replacement plan. Not doing so – starting with repeal and delay – threatens to destabilize the individual market and harm not only those who receive subsidies from the ACA, but also everyone who now purchases insurance in the individual market.
Estimates show that premiums would jump at least 20 percent and cause 4.3 million to lose health insurance as soon as next year, and that’s nothing compared to the damage that would be inflicted if a replacement plan subsequently failed to emerge. The current version of repeal through reconciliation, leaving in place the ACA’s insurance market reforms, would nearly destroy the individual market if its provisions took effect, causing 30 million people in total to lose health insurance, leaving more uninsured than before the ACA.
Fixing the ACA is important, but replacing it with a durable plan to make health coverage broadly affordable will take time and constructive bipartisan collaboration.
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Republican leaders in Congress have announced their intention to repeal key parts of Obamacare in early 2017, but delay the implementation of that repeal until 2019 or 2020. Some conservatives are complaining about this delay, arguing that the GOP should replace Obamacare immediately. But GOP leadership is right—and here’s why.
The fundamental problem is that in order to fully replace Obamacare, Republicans need to come up with a bipartisan plan that can attract the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Democratic filibuster.
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Staff for House Republicans will be briefed Thursday afternoon on how to repeal Obamacare using special budget reconciliation rules that could allow them ditch big parts of the healthcare law next year.
House Budget Committee staffers will explain at a 1:30 p.m. meeting how the budget reconciliation process works, lay out how it can be used on the Affordable Care Act and answer questions, according to an invitation sent to Republicans on Monday.
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Though Republicans are itching to start on their promises to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, many of them worry about repercussions if the process stalls or takes too long.
The GOP will most likely have to take a piecemeal approach to rolling back the health care legislation, a process Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said will be the first priority of the 115th Congress.
A new health care law might not take effect for up to three years, The Associated Press reported, in order to give Congress and President-elect Donald Trump enough time to come up with a feasible replacement.
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As a physician, I know well the problems with Obamacare. I don’t think anyone has more disdain for this big government takeover of our healthcare system. It needs to be stopped, and we must replace it with reforms that move us in the opposite direction.
I will vote to repeal Obamacare in January. I believe it is something that the Republican Congress must do.
However, in our fervor to repeal Obamacare, conservatives should not forget or abandon the principles that make us conservative in the first place. Quirky, arcane rules allow Congress to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority but only if Congress passes a budget first.
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An important part of Donald Trump’s healthcare agenda is his pledge to let consumers and employers avoid unwanted regulatory costs by purchasing insurance licensed by states other than their own, a change that would make health insurance both more affordable and more secure. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that allowing employers to avoid these unwanted regulatory costs would reduce premiums an average of 13%. That’s a nice contrast to what Bill Clinton calls ObamaCare’s “crazy system where…people [who] are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half.”
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Republicans will need to deliver something else that works better than the Affordable Care Act, while avoiding overpromises and disruption of care. “Repeal” of many portions of the ACA is important – done, of course, in a manner that improves, not worsens, people’s lives. The Republicans in Congress and Tom Price, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services would repeal as much of the ACA as they can reach through the budget reconciliation process.
Within the individual insurance market, people with costly pre-existing conditions will gain and maintain protections against coverage exclusions or higher premiums, as long as they maintain “continuous” eligible coverage, an approach that already operates effectively across the employer-based group insurance market. This will replace the individual mandate, by operating as a positive incentive, rather than a negative burden, to become and remain insured. As mandated coverage requirements are loosened, willing buyers will be able to find willing sellers who can match their preferences and resources.
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The head of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the national trade association representing health insurers, lists three key priorities for reform:
1. Commit to policies that support continuous coverage for everyone—those who utilize insurance to obtain quality care and those who are healthy but have insurance to protect them in case they get sick. Both types of consumers must be insured for coverage to remain affordable.
2. Commit to market stability in 2017 and 2019 by funding temporary, transitional funding programs at least through January 1, 2019.
3. Reduce health costs for millions of Americans by eliminating the health-insurance tax on insurers, which is passed along to employers and consumers in the form of higher premium costs.
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Supporters of the 2010 health care law will launch a political coalition Friday to block its repeal. They’re targeting Republican lawmakers whose constituents may now be at risk of losing health insurance.
The initial goal is to stop Congress from repealing the law without simultaneously passing a replacement for some 20 million people covered through subsidized private health insurance and expanded Medicaid.
Called “Protect Our Care,” the group brings together organizations that helped pass the Affordable Care Act.
On the list are the NAACP, liberal advocacy groups like Families USA and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Service Employees International Union, which represents many health care workers, and the Center for American Progress, a think tank closely aligned with the Obama White House.
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The incoming Senate Democratic leader says his party won’t help Republicans with a new health reform plan down the road if they repeal Obamacare without an immediate replacement.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, who will replace retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in January, said Republicans will have to “own” the situation if they ditch the healthcare law but don’t immediately come up with a way to replace it.
“We’re not going to do a replacement,” Schumer said of his caucus. “If they repeal without a replacement, they will own it. Democrats will not then step up to the plate and come up with a half-baked solution that we will partially own. It’s all theirs.”
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