Although it came late as a campaign issue, ObamaCare was on the ballot again on Tuesday. And it lost big. President-elect Trump connected with voter anger about the law, saying that health costs are overwhelming families’ ability to pay their bills, and even their mortgages. Those voters helped produce Tuesday’s stunning electoral result. Both Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell are ready to begin work on repealing and replacing ObamaCare; we offer an agenda for action.
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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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The White House is urging people to sign up for coverage through ObamaCare, hours after the Republican electoral sweep that likely dooms the healthcare law’s future.
Spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday the Obama administration remains committed to its enrollment drive, which opened Nov. 1.
“There is no specific thing in mind that we’re going to do differently now,” Earnest said as he addressed reporters for the first time since President-elect Donald Trump declared victory.
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The Affordable Care Act transformed the medical system, expanding coverage to millions, injecting billions in tax revenue, changing insurance rules and launching ambitious experiments in quality and efficiency.
Less of that might disappear under President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to “repeal and replace Obamacare” than many believe, say policy analysts. Republicans promising change might not quickly admit it, but in some respects Obamacare’s replacement may look something like the original.
“It gets into a questions of semantics,” said Mark Rouck, an insurance analyst for Fitch Ratings. “Are they really repealing the act if they replace it with new legislation that has some of the same characteristics?”
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For the past six years, Republicans — across Washington, and across the country — have virtually to a person run against Obamacare. Their campaign has helped them win numerous House and Senate seats, a majority of governorships, and now has given them unified control of Washington for the first time in 15 years. Like the dog that finally caught the proverbial car, Republicans will wake up Wednesday morning asking themselves — on Obamacare, as on many other issues — “What now?”
The answer might be less obvious than it first appears. Democrats used the decade and a half between the defeat of Hillary Clinton’s health plan in 1993–94 and the 2008 election to develop a consensus architecture about what their ideal health-care plan would look like. In the Democratic primaries that year, Senators Clinton and Obama disagreed strongly on the necessity of an individual mandate to purchase coverage — a difference they litigated very publicly, and at great length, during the primary campaign — but agreed on virtually everything else.
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A nationwide exit poll shows almost half of voters believe Obamacare went too far.
About 45 percent told NBC News that the law went too far, while 31 percent believe it didn’t go far enough and 18 percent said it was just right, according to a nationwide exit poll released Tuesday.
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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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