President-elect Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress can repeal Obamacare pretty easily, but the biggest question is when and if there will be a transition while a replacement gets crafted.
Trump has promised to repeal Obamacare in its entirety and congressional Republicans are on board. However, when the repeal would take effect is largely in doubt, as some Republicans are wary of immediately ending coverage for millions of people without a replacement.
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Colorado voters rejected a ballot measure that would have created a first-in-the-nation single-payer health insurance system, a significant setback for progressive proponents of universal health care.
Tuesday’s defeat of Amendment 69 was decisive, as predicted. Polling ahead of Election Day showed that two-thirds of residents opposed the measure, which would have established a program called ColoradoCare to cover most people in the state.
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Democrats are already panicked that Donald Trump will repeal ObamaCare and throw millions of people off the subsidy rolls, while some conservatives seem panicked that the President-elect will renege on his campaign promises and millions of people won’t be thrown off the entitlement. Like most inflamed political questions after Mr. Trump’s victory, the health-care debate would benefit from some perspective.
“Either ObamaCare will be amended, or repealed and replaced,” Mr. Trump told the Journal last week, and on “60 Minutes” on Sunday he added that “we’re not going to have a two-year period where there’s nothing. It will be repealed and replaced.” Mr. Trump is being more subtle than his critics.
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Not all of Obamacare would be “shut right down” once the unified Republican government takes power next year, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Monday.
“You wouldn’t have everything shut right down. … You wouldn’t take everything away,” the California Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill.
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Republicans could pass a budget reconciliation bill that gradually sunsets the law, preserving its subsidies and Medicaid expansion for a time while they agree on a replacement. They’ve already got a script for that approach, after passing a reconciliation bill last January which President Obama vetoed.
Or Congress could pass a replacement plan right away by coupling it with a repeal bill, although it’s questionable Republicans could find consensus in such a short timeframe.
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In a move virtually ignored outside Washington and largely unnoticed even within it, last December the House and Senate passed legislation repealing much of Obamacare. President Obama promptly vetoed the measure — an obstacle that will disappear come January 20. As reporters and policymakers attempt to catch up and learn the details of a process they had not closely followed, three important lessons stand out from last year’s “dry run” at repealing Obamacare.
Republicans’ path on Obamacare could prove more complicated than the new conventional wisdom in Washington suggests. If past is prologue, last year’s reconciliation bill provides one possible roadmap for how the congressional debate may play out.
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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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President-elect Donald Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuand Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi on Wednesday and will have his first post-election meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss the transfer of power between their two administrations in January.
Mr. Trump’s transition team has been gathering for months, and they packed into an office on Wednesday a block away from the White House to continue drafting blueprints for the new administration. Among the proposals: a policy that would ban many members of the transition team from lobbying the same federal agencies they are helping shape.
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The presidential election outcome itself could create more problems for the ACA. The insurance plans sold on the law’s exchanges have already experienced substantial losses due to adverse selection, leading many insurance companies to pull back on their participation. The prospect of a Trump administration steering ACA implementation may be enough to convince some of the insurers still offering products on the exchanges in 2017 to rethink their plans. If more insurance companies head for the exits, the exchanges could become even less stable than they already are.
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