Five reasons why the GOP Healthcare plan is a weak bill

For over seven years through four election cycles, Republicans running for every political office from dog catcher to the United States Senate, have pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Well today the GOP lead Congress voted to repeal and replace Obamacare with the American Healthcare Act. (AHCA)

The same AHCA that a number of polls had between a high of 21 percent and as low as 17 percent of the American people supporting the new healthcare proposal. It was too harsh for the moderate wing of the party to support, but not conservative enough for the Freedom Caucus to support.

1.) The GOP will not actually be repealing Obamacare at all. What they will be doing is to re craft the former Affordable Care Act and repairing it with the AHCA. They will be keeping the pre-existing conditions clause, the ability for parents to keep their children on their insurance policy till the age of 26. They are replacing Medicaid expansion with High Risk Pool waivers, and some minor other parts of the law. So, now this not a repealing of the law, and they will actually continue to fiance healthcare through the vouchers.

2.) The Republican’s feel that they must repeal and replace Obamacare no matter what bill they send over to the Senate. This is purely a political move, because they held no hearings, they did not bring in anyone from experts from the the healthcare industry with the exception of the insurance industry.  They also want to give President Donald Trump a big legislative win.

3.) The new AHCA has not been scored by the non partisan Congressional Budget Office before today’s vote. Yes, the original bill was scored but it has been changed extensively, so that no one knows what this new proposed law would cost. So, any talk about how much it would save consumers is simply a guess. This AHCA is actually worse from a consumer’s standpoint then the the one offered back in March.  At the moment many people would lose coverage under the bill or how much it would cost.

In attempt to win over the Freedom Caucus the White House and Congressional leaders offered the group a compromise. A series of amendments that would allow states to opt out of key Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing conditions and requirements that insurers offer coverage for maternity care and mental health benefits.

4.) That was met with strong resistance from the moderate Tuesday Afternoon group of the Republican Party who put the very popular pre-existing conditions in peril. So, the support the White House and Republican leaders gained from the deal they cut with the Freedom Caucus, they lost with the Tuesday Afternoon group.

Two moderate Republicans, Reps. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Billy Long, R-Mo., crafted together an amendment to get $ 8 billion in aid to states for their “High Risk Pools.” To get the waiver for the money, the state must have a high-risk pool or another mechanism to help such people afford a policy.

According to an Associated Press report opponents said that would effectively deny such people coverage by letting insurers charge them affordable prices. They say high-risk pools have a mixed record because government money financing them often proves inadequate. At present, around $130 billion in the legislation states could use to help people afford insurance, but critics have said that’s just a fraction of what would be needed for adequate coverage.

5.) The bill would allow insurance companies to opt out of the existing ACA process that mandated, insurers must charge healthy and seriously ill customers the same rates. The bill’s supporters say it protects those with pre-existing conditions and that the exclusion would affect only some of them. Republican members of Congress who are from states who normally vote Democratic and their districts voted for Hillary Clinton are very weary of how supporting the AHCA could cost them their seat in the House.

Bonus point….

6.) So, the House passes the ACHA bill it will move across the Hill to the Senate where after all of this back and forth bargaining it will shredded before the first committee meeting. The Senate needs a bi-partisan bill and that means crafting a whole new bill that will not look anything like the one the House passes.

Lastly, the  bill could end up hurting the House Republican’s more than anyone else because there will that new Senate bill and the White House will be on to other things.

The GOP should know where being on the wrong side of the healthcare issue can do to the party who changes things. In 2010 they took back the House, costing Democrats a whopping 63 seats and the majority along the way. Republicans have found success campaigning on repeal of the law in the seven years since, dashing Democratic efforts to take back House control

 

 

 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.