President-Elect Donald Trump will be in a fight with Speaker Ryan over Obamacare. Who will win?
President-elect Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) could have their first big fight as soon as February. The battle over repealing and replacing of The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) could be their first big showdown, with plenty of ramifications for Floridians.
More people in the state of Florida have insurance through the Healthcare.gov exchange than any other state in the country. So, as the Trump vs. Ryan battle takes shape you can bet Sunshine State residents will have a big interest in the outcome.
Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23rd, 2010 and upheld in the supreme court on June 28, 2012.Congressional Republicans, have voted a staggering 62 times to repeal Obamacare and come back a replacement plan later. But that is totally against the plan of President-elect Trump who wants to simultaneously, repeal and replace the heath law.
In his first interview after the election, as a guest on the news program 60 Minutes, Trump shared a willingness to keep some of the healthcare law’s components in place, like assured coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. However, his campaign was largely built on attacking President Obama’s law.
A day later in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the president-elect kept that them going.
“Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced,” Trump told the Journal in November.
Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans have not yet said whether they intend to scrap the mandate right away, but the bill they unsuccessfully pushed last year — and are now using as a blueprint for 2017 — abolished the mandate immediately.
Republicans have railed against the mandate, they say it is an infringement on freedom, with people forced to buy a product they might not want. However, there is a massive political risk coming with the repealing of Obamacare.
As the immediate repeal of the mandate could have severe repercussions, should Republicans seek to leave the rest of the law in place while they draft a healthcare replacement.
In their zeal to get rid of Obamacare at all costs could be a huge mistake because, without a mandate, more healthy people are likely to go without health coverage, leaving mostly sick people enrolled in ObamaCare. If that happened, premiums could rise substantially, then even was projected by most health care analysts expected.
It also means millions of Americans could go without the insurance they bought through the Heathcare.org and state exchanges. With the possibility of heavy financial losses, some insurers could decide to simply drop out of the ObamaCare marketplaces in 2018, potentially leaving people with fewer options for coverage, or, in some places, no coverage options at all.
According an article in The Hill, a repeal without the instant replacement that President-elect Trump suggested would be a huge mistake.
“This could lead to severe market disruption and loss of coverage among individual market enrollees,” wrote the American Academy of Actuaries.
Before ObamaCare, some states, like New York, tried banning insurers from rejecting people with preexisting conditions without imposing a mandate for coverage. The results were disappointing.
The non-partisan and highly regarded American Academy of Actuaries wrote to congressional leaders last week, warning, among other things, about the dangers of repealing the mandate, without a complete replacement bill set to go into place would be a mistake.
As healthy people drop coverage, the actuaries warned, “a premium spiral could result, with fewer and fewer insureds and higher and higher premiums.”
Another nonpartisan group, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated last week that repealing the mandate would increase premiums in ObamaCare by 20 percent.
There is still uncertainty about how severe the effects of repealing the mandate would be.
Meanwhile, a couple of congressional representatives from Florida held a round table discussion Friday in Ft. Lauderdale. The duo highlighted the “dangerous and reckless partisan games” surrounding congress’ threat to repeal the Obamacare without an instant replacement.
Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-21) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) sat down with about two dozen representatives from organizations like AARP, Broward Health, Planned Parenthood and the United Way to stop what they call the “games being played with people’s access to life-saving care.”
“The fact is there are 225-million Americans who benefit from the Affordable Care Act, 20-million who have access to insurance for the first time, another 55-million seniors who benefit from the strengthening of Medicare and 150-million Americans whose policies through their employers now contain consumer protections that never existed before, no lifetime limits, no annual limits, the pre-existing condition discrimination has ended,” stated
Congressman Deutch. “If you do away with the Affordable Care Act you lose all of that and people won’t get access to the care they need and that would have a devastating impact.”
Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz urged everyone to mobilize to reject the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“We will fight tooth and nail to do that for them to repeal, lock stock and barrel, all of the Affordable Care Act. Make no mistake that they can really do some significant damage that will dramatically alter and take away health care from most people if they proceed with their plans to repeal,” said Wasserman Schultz.
Congressional Republicans, along with the President-elect, have repeatedly threatened to repeal the law, commonly known as Obamacare, that has helped give 20 million more Americans access to health insurance.
“Medicare recipients can now access free preventive screenings, which have helped slow the rate of health care costs,” the panel said in a statement to the media. “Seniors have saved over $23.5 billion on prescription drugs by shrinking the ‘donut hole.’ Women cannot be discriminated against and young adults may remain under their parents’ plans until the age of 26. Individuals with high-cost illnesses and disorders will not face bankruptcy from health expenses. People suffering from addictions will not be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.”
“Lacking a better alternative, due to their choice to waste years on political grandstanding against the law, the Republicans are setting the stage for a complete disaster as their first move in the new Congress,” said Congressman Deutch. “And they must be stopped.”
The battle lines have been drawn and it could be Trump and the congressional Democrats taking of Speaker Ryan and the Republicans with the healthcare system in the United States hanging in the balance.
Some quotes in the story were from ASSOCIATED PRESS and CBS News. The video is also from CBS News.