You may have heard scuttlebutt that Republicans are at it again. As early as today or tomorrow, Republicans in Congress may vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka “Obamacare.”
Yes, the abysmal failure of last month’s repeal attempt didn’t send a strong enough message. The overwhelming outcry from constituents all over the country who stalked lawmakers even considering repeal didn’t send a strong enough message. The phone calls, postcards, tweets, letters to newspapers, face-to-face confrontations at town halls (when lawmakers decided to hold them) didn’t send a strong enough message.
And “Trumpcare 3.0” is even uglier than its predecessor.
How much uglier?
Alan Slavitt of the Bipartisan Policy Center, former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, tweeted a summary of the new healthcare bill on Friday.
It states, among other things:
- Twenty-four million people would lose healthcare access. This includes seven million people currently employed and 1.2 million veterans.
- Many employers would be unable to offer lifetime cap price protections.
- Premiums would spike an average of $24,000 15 to 20 percent.
- Medicaid would take a twenty-five percent cut, then capped. This would most affect the elderly, children, low-income citizens, and people with addictions and disabilities.
- Deductibles would increase by 60 percent.
- Insurance companies would have the freedom to underwrite and charge the sick more at states’ request. Those who can pay the increased costs will be placed into high-risk pools at a projected price of $25,700.
This is cause for concern but there is also hope.
According to CNN’s whip count, twenty-one House Republicans are on record as “no” votes. Two more lost votes and the bill fails.
President Donald Trump, however, appears confused over whether the final version of the bill will mandate insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions as the ACA does. To CBS’s John Dickerson, he said:
“Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, ‘Has to be.’ It will be every bit as good on pre-existing conditions as Obamacare.”
He may not know or simply ignores the fact that the current bill would keep the pre-existing condition mandate, but also allow states to apply for waivers to change the cost and quality of coverage. This is what the White House and Republican House leaders are using to entice the Freedom Caucus, the most conservative Republicans, to support this version of the bill after opposing the last one.
Even that objective, though, is proving difficult. By late Monday, despite House leaders collecting more votes than ever, they still appeared short of the 216 Republicans need to pass the measure, stuck between conservatives and moderates.
The Senate must rule on whether some provisions are allowable in a budget reconciliation bill they’re using to avoid a Senate rule requiring a 60-vote win including Democratic votes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is likely to introduce a substitute version removing those provisions, as he did in 2015, when Congress passed a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act Obama vetoed.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told his rank-and-file members in a closed-door meeting Tuesday that he plans on presenting the bill when the votes are there.
White House aides have suggested a vote is possible Wednesday.
Now might be a good time to call your member of Congress to voice your opinion.
Check out this video for more information on how repealing Obamacare could hurt Americans nationwide:
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.