by William Teach | March 21, 2017 8:05 am
None of this really addresses the fundamental flaws of the replace bill
(Politico) House Republican leaders are making a last-ditch attempt to win enough support to pass their Obamacare repeal, revealing an expansive series of changes to the bill on Monday night designed to woo wary GOP lawmakers.
Requested by President Donald Trump, the amendment includes perks for restive conservatives who wanted optional work requirements and block granting in Medicaid, as well as a potential olive branch to wary centrists who demanded more help for older Americans to buy insurance, POLITICO has learned.
Will these changes make a difference?
“House leadership does not have the votes to pass this very liberal bill unless they have a bunch of Democrats on board!” declared Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) while exiting the meeting. He called it a “the largest Republican welfare bill in the history of the Republican Party.”
NEWS: After @FreedomCaucus meets on health care, Chairman Mark Meadows says: "Currently there are not enough votes to pass the legislation."
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) March 21, 2017
What are the changes?
The mangers amendment is expected to entice some to vote “yes” on the bill, on both sides. For moderate and centrist Republicans, it would set aside funding — about $85 billion, according to Republican sources — for tax credits to help Americans between 50 and 64, who would see their premiums skyrocket under the current repeal plan. The amendment would not set up the tax credits but would instruct the Senate to do so, forcing House Republicans to take a vote on something the upper chamber would do later. It would be paid for by allowing consumers to write off less medical debt. (snip)
The bill also includes provisions nodding at anti-abortion GOP leaders. Among other changes to the repeal bill, the amendment would delete a provision that would have allowed consumers to move leftover tax credit money into a Health Savings Account. Anti-abortion groups had raised concerns that the provision might be eliminated under the Senate’s strict budget rules and inadvertently allow for taxpayer funding of abortion.
It also allows states to opt-in to traditional Medicaid block grants, and makes some changes to attempt to make this more palatable for moderate Republicans.
And then there are the Obamacare taxes. This would see most ended starting January 2017, rather than 2018. But, it would not get rid of the Cadillac Plan tax, but simply hold off on implementation from 2025 to 2026.
But, as Caleb Howe notes
This doesn’t even begin to address the “still to come” problems like getting through the Senate, getting the other “phases” passed, and the rest of the pipe dreams.
It doesn’t address the “mandate” that would penalize people who do not have insurance and attempt to get it, nor the other issues with the bill. It doesn’t provide that pathway to make it easier for people to obtain health insurance nor reduce costs. Whether people like it or not, there are lots of individuals and small businesses that get their insurance via the government exchanges (they really have little choice): what do they do as the Exchanges end? There must be a guidance, and this bill doesn’t do it.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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