President-elect Trump has made waves by saying that though he plans to repeal Obamacare, he wants to keep the aspect of it that bans coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. But this is not possible without broader changes to the healthcare system.
The pre-existing condition ban is ultimately one of the primary drivers of the premium hikes we’re seeing within Obamacare. The reason is that with insurers forced to offer coverage to anybody who applies, they incur higher medical costs, and they thus require more signups from younger and healthier people — but those signups aren’t materializing in a large enough volume to offset costs.
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Republicans on Capitol Hill are growing confident that they can begin to repeal Obamacare once President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in, along with a pledge to replace it later.
“We have an Obamacare emergency right now,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate HELP Committee. “I think we could move forward in January on some aspects of repeal but we need to make sure that we are helping people and that we do no harm.”
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Congressional Republicans may be mulling a plan to repeal Obamacare before President-elect Trump takes office, a top GOP leader said Wednesday.
“Nothing has been decided but that is certainly one of the options,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters after a closed-door GOP meeting on Wednesday.
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Virtually every Republican member of Congress who has been interviewed on TV has assured the national viewing audience that a top priority come January will be to repeal Obamacare. They make it sound easy. It is easy. At least defunding Obamacare is easy. And without any money to spend, what we call Obamacare would wither on the vine in short order.
Congress has already done this once. A procedure known as “reconciliation” deals with budget matters and it can’t be filibustered. That means if Republicans all vote in lock step the Democrats can’t stop them. Last year, Republicans in the House and the Senate voted to take all they money out of Obamacare through their reconciliation bill. The bill did not repeal the Obamacare mandates or Obamacare regulations because those are non-budget matters. But with no money to spend, all those mandates and regulations aren’t worth the paper they are written on.
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Two top House Republicans on health policy reiterated promises Monday to replace the Affordable Care Act after repealing it.
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who is vying to lead the Energy and Commerce Committee next year, said the House GOP’s “Better Way” health plan will be the starting point for reform efforts. He referenced high-risk pools as the best way to require insurers to cover pre-existing conditions without having a mandate to purchase plans. Tax credits would help people afford coverage, he said.
“We just want to bring more choices, more competition,” Shimkus said. “Competition drives higher quality, lower cost. Always does, always will.”
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Throughout the campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump’s entire health message consisted of promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
That remains difficult with Democrats still commanding enough power in the Senate to block the 60 votes needed for a full repeal. Republicans could use fast-track budget authority to make some major changes to the law, although that could take some time. In the short term, however, Trump could use executive power to make some major changes on his own.
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The GOP’s long-discussed dreams of repealing Obamacare became closer to reality early Wednesday morning when Donald Trump was elected president.
Six years after President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law and after more than 60 attempts to repeal it, Republicans now have a good chance to advance their own agenda.
While on the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised voters that he would repeal Obamacare if he was elected president and even called on congressional Republicans to call a “special session” to move forward with rolling back the law.
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President-elect Trump said that he was open to keeping parts of Obamacare. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Mr. Trump said he favors keeping the prohibition against insurers denying coverage because of patients’ existing conditions, and a provision that allows parents to provide years of additional coverage for children on their insurance policies.” He’s not the first Republican to advocate keeping these popular provisions of the law. Keeping the under-26 provision is pretty close to a consensus among Hill Republicans. It’s not the ideal policy, in my view. But it’s compatible with a much freer and better-functioning health-care market than we have now, and it’s worth accepting as part of legislation that enables that market.
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A total repeal of ObamaCare will prove difficult — but there’s plenty Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans can do to effectively dismantle President Obama’s signature domestic program.
Trump could exempt more people from the individual mandate to buy insurance, and his administration could stop assisting consumers with enrollment.
If the government stops fighting a lawsuit that’s trying to put an end to subsidies for low-income people’s bills, insurers’ costs would go up, and they could choose to drop out of the markets.
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The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CBS News and other news outlets have led with headlines over the weekend touting the big news that Donald Trump is willing to keep parts of the Affordable Care Act––notably the pre-existing condition protections and the ability for children up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents policies.
In May, Trump’s policy advisor told Healthline that a Trump administration would consider keeping the children to age 26 provision.
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