One of the key premises that republicans at all levels of government have continued to campaign on is the failure of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and the need to roll it back or outright topple it. It’s a legitimate point; Obamacare has led to higher premiums, higher deductibles, and more expensive health insurance for almost everyone in the country, not to mention the complete destruction of liberty.
Thankfully, a coalition of republicans and advocacy groups are preparing to begin another push to repeal ACA, and to replace it with a plan designed to give states more control over health policy. Still, the GOP is divided on the bill, and Mitch McConnell seems disinterested in pushing for another vote on a healthcare bill, despite the fact that it could come up right before the November elections, giving the party a boost.
The new plan to repeal and replace is the result of eight months of behind-the-scenes work done by a number of conservative organizations and thinkers, who have developed what they believe is a viable replacement for the abominable act forced on Americans at the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency.
Republicans across the nation have shown their dissatisfaction with the repeated failure to actually repeal the act. Even with the party in control of Senate, Congress, and the White House, it seemed that the measure still fell short of votes, thanks to RINO’s in the Senate.
However, the new proposal to replace the ACA just might be able to attract RINO votes in the houses of America’s bicameral legislature. The proposal is the result of months of work by such famous right-leaning think-tanks as the Heritage Foundation, Manhattan Institute, Galen Institute, and more.
They formed a coalition of policy experts called the Health Policy Consensus Group, and then sought the knowledge and insight of local politicians, as well as groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Together, they hoped to be able to present a proposal for the American healthcare and health insurance system that voters will be interested in.
Mitch McConnell, however, said that he wasn’t interested in returning to another ‘repeal and replace’ vote unless he was sure that he had the votes to pass it, even though the brightest right-leaning political minds had worked on the plan for eight months.
Former Pennsylvania republican Senator Rick Santorum said that lack of a cohesive plan to replace the ACA was something that left the party open to assault by democrats.
He said that the idea that the party could go into an election season and emerge victorious, while people were seeing their premiums rise by 91% was not one a realistic one. The premium hike was slated to occur even before President Trump stopped subsidizing insurance companies.
The plan that the right-leaning experts put together would end the expansion of Medicaid in states, as well as the funneling of money to states in the form of block grants.
It will also likely include some of the consumer protections that Obamacare pushed for, including financial assistance for those who can’t afford coverage and an expansion of health savings accounts.
Those who wrote the bill, as well as their political allies, hope to bring the measure to a vote by the end of August at very latest. The bill, which builds on a similar legislative attempt offered by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy could finally succeed in garnering enough votes to become law.
Republicans in battleground districts, however, were worried that an attempt to push for another vote on ‘repealing and replacing’ Obama’s signature achievement could “rile up” democrats going into the 2018 midterm election season.
Ryan Costello, a Republican Representative from Pennsylvania, a well-known battleground state, said that it would urge democrats to vote. The left, however, faces its own divisions over the law and what they can best do about it.
Some on the left want to ‘fix’ the law as it currently exists, likely with a large infusion of cash. Others want to push for a ‘repeal and replace’ of their own, and believe that the American people want the same government that can’t provide healthcare to wounded veterans to seize control of healthcare throughout the country with a single-payer system.
Republicans face an uphill battle in trying to repeal the ACA, however. Sure, the repeal vote is simple, and would only require 51 votes in the Senate, where republicans face a small majority with 51 out of the chamber’s 100 votes safely in their hands.
Passing the replacement healthcare law, though, will likely require a full sixty votes in the Senate.
Further, some republicans feel that the proposal is too centrist, and that the best thing to do would be to fully repeal the ACA and go back to the drawing board to find a more conservative option for replacement.
The one thing that almost everyone can agree on, though, is that the law as it currently exists is not working. It caused prices to skyrocket, while coverage dropped, and all because we had to ‘pass’ the bill to see what was in it.
Hopefully, voters remember who forced that terrible bill through and cut a number of pork barrel deals to do so. It is democrats and their policies that caused an explosion in health insurance and healthcare prices.