US Senate republicans are operating under the premise that they have to pass their AHCA healthcare act, which was recently formed over a two month time span in secret, with only 13 White male senate members at the helm.
The republican base had been demanding the repeal of Obamacare for several years with the leaders fomenting this sentiment, but now in 2017 the table has turned, as Obamacare (ACA) has become more popular, even with many republicans as they have observed how this program has benefited family members, friends, colleagues and others.
Numerous experts have said that improvements could be made to the ACA (Obamacare) to cover even more Americans with better coverage for less monies and with the goal of keeping the rising medical costs within the US annual inflation growth. And this is what the vast majority of Americans want.
AND SO IT IS A PUZZLE AS TO WHY THE US SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, MITCH MCCONNELL WITH HIS FELLOW REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS ARE ACTING COUNTER TO WHAT MOST AMERICANS WANT?
Could it be because he is catering to those voters who hate anything accomplished by the prior democratic President Barack Obama? But then why is he not honoring the President Trump’s campaign promise to repeal Obamacare but to replace it with better quality healthcare coverage for more peoples at a lower cost? And don’t forget the president’s pledge, not to touch Medicaid.
Could it be that the republican US Senate Speaker Mitch McConnell has figured out that no matter what the president does, the rural White voters are so angry with the established status quo from which he/ she has been left behind, that they will continue to stick by President Trump through thick and thin? Right now 54% of White rural voters are still backing their president.
So, Senator Mitch McConnell is on a mission to pass this revamped AHCA Bill and ramming it through with a majority vote of 51 senators by July 4, 2017. The added bonus with this bill, comes in the form of billions of dollars in savings for the wealthy tax payers which forms the basis for the upcoming republicans’ planned tax cuts/ tax reform bill.
The support for the context of the newly proposed AHCA bill is targeted to please the wealthy, the evangelical voters and the president’s supporters who want to blow-up anything associated with our previous president. And let all the rest of us, eat cake!
HERE’S THE REST OF THE STORY…(Planned Parenthood will no longer be the recipient of government funds.)
On June 21, 2017, Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan ot the New York Times penned the following report, “Abortion Adds Obstacle as Republicans Plan to Unveil Health Bill.”
“Abortion flared up Wednesday (6/21/17) as the latest hot-button issue to complicate passage of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which Senate Republican leaders hope to unveil on Thursday (6/22/17) and pass next week.”
“The repeal bill approved last month by the House would bar the use of federal tax credits to help purchase insurance plans that include coverage of abortion. But senators said that provision might have to be jettisoned from their version because of complicated Senate rules that Republicans are using to expedite passage of the bill and avoid a filibuster.”
“The changes being considered in Congress could “amount to a 25 percent shortfall in covering the actual cost of providing care to our nation’s neediest citizens,” the top executives of 10 insurance companies wrote this week. “These amounts spell deep cuts, not state flexibilities, in Medicaid.”
“As senators struggle to develop a health care bill, their handiwork appears to be too moderate for some Senate conservatives and too conservative for some Senate moderates. The latest version, without the abortion-coverage prohibition and with steep Medicaid cuts, may prove unacceptable to some in both camps. To pass it, Senate leaders can afford to lose only two Republican votes of the 52 in the chamber.”
“Republican senators got a glimpse Wednesday (6/21/17) of the highlights of the bill, which was drafted in secret by the majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and top aides. White House officials were granted a formal briefing, which risked irking many senators who had yet to see the actual bill.”
“The bill is scheduled to go to the Senate floor next week under these procedures, which limit debate and preclude a Democratic filibuster.”
“It’s one of the problems we have to work with,” Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah and the chairman of the Finance Committee, said of the abortion issue. “We’re not quite sure how that’s going to be resolved.”
“Mr. McConnell is determined to get a vote on the bill by the end of next week, before the Fourth of July holiday, but he still does not have enough committed votes to ensure passage.”
Health Insurers Speak Out
The House bill and the Senate version, like the Affordable Care Act, would provide tens of billions of dollars in tax credits to help people pay insurance premiums.”
“The federal government is expected to spend more than $30 billion this year on tax credits to help lower- and middle-income people pay premiums. The Senate bill would provide more assistance to lower-income people than the House bill, which bases tax credits on a person’s age.”
“The Senate bill would also repeal most of the taxes imposed by the Affordable Care Act. It would delay the effective date of a tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage, but Republicans plan to offer an amendment next week to eliminate this “Cadillac tax,” which is opposed by labor unions and employers.”
“Republicans have been promising to repeal the health law ever since it was signed by President Barack Obama in 2010. On Wednesday, in the final hours before the Senate repeal bill was to be unveiled, members of Congress, consumer groups and health care executives engaged in frenetic advocacy in hopes of shaping the bill.”
“Women’s groups and at least two moderate Republicans, Ms. Collins and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, continued to object to a provision of Mr. McConnell’s bill that would cut off funds for Planned Parenthood.”
“In a letter to Mr. McConnell on Wednesday, more than two dozen House members in the conservative Republican Study Committee listed several parts of the House bill they view as crucial, including cutting funds to Planned Parenthood and restricting the use of the tax credits. The bill, they wrote, fulfills “an important conservative commitment to promote life and protect the unborn.”
“Leaders of the 10 insurance companies told Mr. McConnell that proposed caps on federal Medicaid spending would cause “an enormous cost shift to the states,” which could force them to raise taxes, reduce benefits, cut payments to health care providers or eliminate coverage for some beneficiaries. Among those signing the letter were top executives of AmeriHealth Caritas, Molina Healthcare, Blue Shield of California and Healthfirst, in New York.”
“Debate on the Senate bill will be shaped by an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, which will estimate the impact on federal spending and the number of people without health insurance. Under the House bill, the office said, the number of uninsured would be 23 million higher than under the Affordable Care Act in 2026. And for some older Americans and sick people, it said, premiums and out-of-pocket costs could be significantly higher.”
How Democrats Would Fix Obamacare – The Atlantic/ Jun 15, 2017 –
Three Ways to Fix Obamacare | The New Yorker/Oct 26, 2016