by William Teach | March 9, 2017 8:19 am
The new Obamacare repeal and replace bill has passed it’s first hurdle in the House, but, many, many, many Republicans are not happy
(The Hill) The House bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare is facing growing opposition from Senate Republicans.
The plan, titled the American Health Care Act, is taking fire from both conservative and moderate factions of the Senate GOP caucus — underscoring the legislation’s perilous path in the upper chamber.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) expressed skepticism Wednesday that the measure would be able to win enough support among Senate Republicans to pass.
“The House bill is a beginning, but the House bill as drafted, I do not believe, would pass the United States Senate,” the conservative firebrand told reporters.
He said the House bill doesn’t do enough to lower the cost of insurance and pointed out “significant challenges” stemming from its provision to end Medicaid expansion.
Rand Paul, Susan Collins, and Tom Cotten also have big problems with the bill.
(NY Times) ..as the House debates how to best dismantle the Affordable Care Act, a familiar array of interest groups with deep pockets, incensed talk radio hosts and online agitators is again assuming its posture of aggression toward the House Republican leadership.
“Swampcare,” the writer and radio personality Erick Erickson scoffed at the new American Health Care Act, the culmination of seven years of promises to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. “Obamacare 2.0,” declared Breitbart.com. “RINOCARE,” Mark Levin wrote on Twitter, using the acronym for Republican in Name Only.
Political groups backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and other powerful players on the right, such as Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America, have come out quickly and strongly against the bill. Some have threatened to punish lawmakers by docking their conservative ratings on the influential “scorecards” they distribute to voters. Activists are already swarming Capitol Hill and demanding that Congress take a harder line and pass a repeal measure that would leave no trace of the Affordable Care Act.
“I feel lied to,” said Anna Beavon Gravely, the deputy state director of the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-backed group that is funding a grass-roots push against Republicans in Congress who want to stop short of an outright repeal.
There will obviously be much debate and discussion, along with tweeking of the bill. That’s what happens. The problem with the replacement plan is that it seems far, far off from Conservative ideas. This has been discussed ad naseum. Sundance at The Last Refuge notes something I brought up the other day
Additionally, despite claims to the contrary, the GOP has never passed an Obamacare “repeal bill”. Ever. What they did previously pass was a “defund bill” using the lower vote reconciliation process. President Obama vetoed it. A defunding bill was possible because of the financial pathway which falls under reconciliation rules. The current Ryan bill is almost identical to the 2016 defunding bill everyone is mistakenly calling a prior “repeal bill”.
A complete independent repeal bill of ObamaCare is currently impossible.
The only bill that can pass the Senate is a bill that can utilize the process of reconciliation, which has a lower vote threshold of 51 votes. A reconciliation bill is a budgetary bill designed around the financial drivers of ObamaCare. This is what HHS Secretary Tom Price, Speaker Ryan and President Trump are attempting to do.
The Ryan bill is one meant to be able to pass through reconciliation, in a similar fashion to the way Obamacare was passed in the first place, after the Democrats lost their 60th Senate seat with the election of Scott Brown. Sundance offers 3 pathways, and suggests that only #2 would work
Option #2 – We can Repeal and Replace using the three-phase approach being proposed by Tom Price, Paul Ryan and Donald Trump:
- 1. Pass reconciliation legislation targeting the financial mechanisms.
- 2. HHS rewrites rules.
- 3. New laws are proposed by a full congress to adjust ObamaCare and add to it, and laws debated/passed.
Yes, this has it’s risks. No guarantee you’ll get the cookie you want in phase three.
The concerning part is that repealing Ocare without methods to make sure people keep their current plans, among other issues, will certainly be scary to many people. We see the way the media has come unglued over this bill already. They trotted out their disingenuous “tax cuts for the rich” mantra, without noting that a full repeal just resets back to the previous status quo. Republicans should just stand up and say “this is a method to ditch Ocare that gets around the 60 vote threshhold, then we’ll have the real replacement plan.”
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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