The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee said a GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act must be mindful of those who currently have coverage through the law.
“Clearly we don’t want to do any harm to people in the system now,” Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said at a Wednesday news conference at the Republican National Committee. “We want to be mindful.”
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Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled the Senate would move swiftly to repeal Obamacare now that the GOP Congress will have a Republican president next year.
“It’s pretty high on our agenda as you know,” the Kentucky Republican said on Wednesday. “I would be shocked if we didn’t move forward and keep our commitment to the American people.”
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After it became clear that Donald Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton for President, a lot of the news coverage focused on one of Donald Trump’s key policy promises: that, “on day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.” But fully repealing Obamacare—let alone replacing it with better reforms—will be far more difficult than a lot of observers believe.
To start, full repeal of Obamacare can’t happen unless 60 U.S. senators vote for it, thanks to the filibuster. And there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate for full repeal; if advocates are lucky, there will be 52. (In 2017, Republicans will control either 51 or 52 Senate seats, depending on the outcome of a runoff in Louisiana.)
Republicans could, in theory, get rid of the filibuster, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and others have routine expressed opposition to that idea.
For the past six years, no law has served as a larger GOP whipping post than the Affordable Care Act, and the Republican sweep Tuesday of political Washington has imperiled the ACA’s expansive reach, putting at risk the insurance that more than 20 million Americans have gained.
During the final week of his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump vowed to repeal the 2010 health-care law so swiftly that he might summon Congress into a special session to accomplish the task. “We will do it, and we will do it very, very quickly. It is a catastrophe,” he said.
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Donald Trump’s ascension to the White House puts President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act in grave peril.
Ever since the law passed in 2010, Republicans have campaigned on a pledge to repeal Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement. Trump’s victory, with continued GOP control of Congress, gives them their first opportunity to do so.
Trump and congressional Republicans have set sky-high expectations for repealing Obamacare; he’s promised to scrap it “very very quickly.” And they have a road map to repeal significant parts of the law, even with a narrow Senate majority.
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We are nearing the grand finale of our long and disheartening election opera, one we dare not ignore because the outcomes matter so much. While the election results will not be determined by public reactions to the Affordable Care Act, the ACA’s fate will be mightily determined by Tuesday’s outcomes. What have we learned about our collective health future over the past 18 months and what might this mean for our health system’s future?
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In this space nine months ago, I proposed 5 questions every presidential candidate should answer on health care. Well, the delivery date for Election 2016 arrives tomorrow, and the questions remain “Asked and Not Answered.” There never was much of an effort by the two leading nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to respond directly, but one still might infer some rough parameters from their various omissions, evasions, and obfuscations. Given the lack of attention to health policy, let alone health policy details, by Trump, we will also assess the outline of House Republicans proposals for health reform embodied in the “A Better Way” documents released last June.
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ObamaCare’s political disciples are dismissive of the tales of woe that ObamaCare has left in its wake, pointing instead to statistics on the reduced rate of uninsured.
Whatever egalitarian ethos that the law’s architects anxiously claim that ObamaCare still achieves, it certainly doesn’t justify the pain that the scheme is causing middle class and families. There’s a very narrow band of Americans who qualify for the law’s special “cost sharing subsidies” who can find ObamaCare plans affordable. Many who fall outside this slim income range are being hammered.
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Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday embraced Donald Trump’s call for a special session of Congress to repeal ObamaCare.
Ryan, who has at times had a tense relationship with Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, also said repeal of ObamaCare is a reason why Trump should be president.
“Imagine if we had a Republican president,” Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “This is what Donald Trump is talking about — a special session. We’ve already proven this year with a Republican House and a Republican Senate we can have that special session, and we can repeal, and we can replace ObamaCare.”
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This may seem like same-old, same-old at this point. After all, lots of health insurers are threatening to leave the exchanges. You could be forgiven for yawning at the news that yet another company might pull back.
But in fact, this is huge news, because Anthem runs the Blue Cross/Blue Shield organizations in 14 states. And though Anthem doesn’t appear to be the sole company offering exchange coverage in any of those states, the Blues are generally the backbone of the exchanges. Where others have quailed, the Blues have by and large stuck with Obamacare. If they pull out, then it’s likely that we’ll see more counties, and possibly entire states, with no Obamacare policies on offer.
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