GOP cynicism was evident in health-care debate

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 1, 2017

To progressives, this was proof that they'd been right to demand more in 2009 - from a public option to a Medicare buy-in for younger people to single-payer health care itself.

US President Donald Trump has been pressuring Republican senators not to give up their fight to overturn Obamacare despite their failure last week to pass a bill to partially replace it.

Trump pledged to cut off funding for Obamacare subsidy payments Monday morning, echoing a statement he made Saturday as he continues to push Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare.

'If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!' Trump tweeted.

On CNN's "State of the Union", White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said it is Trump administration policy that the Senate should keep working to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, skipping an August recess if necessary.

In the House, 43 Democratic and Republican moderates proposed a plan that includes continuing federal payments that help insurers contain expenses for lower-earning customers.

But while millions of Americans avoided disaster, Trump seemed determined to undermine ObamaCare and pressuring senators with unseemly politics. Nineteen Republican-run states refused the expansion, even though the federal government was offering to pay nearly all the cost, for an initiative that would have given their citizens insurance, helped rural hospitals, and even aided state budgets.

STATE LEGISLATURE: The biggest test for voter sentiment on the health law could come in the May primary next year, with some GOP lawmakers potentially facing challenges that could focus on their support for keeping the state's hybrid Medicaid expansion alive. Trump inherited the payment structure, but he also has the power to end them. "Republicans will own that lock, stock, and barrel, and we'll be judged in the election less than two years away".

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor of Pensions Committee, said the Senate rejection "leaves an urgent problem that I am committed to addressing". These subsidies were never appropriated by Congress, yet the Obama administration raided the Treasury and used the money for a corporate welfare scheme meant to artificially hold down premiums.

Besides the premiums, Trump could be putting his own administration and the federal government in a hard situation.

The extraordinarily profane telephone tirade to a New Yorker writer by new White House Office of Communications boss Anthony Scaramucci against (now former) White House chief of staff Reince Priebus has laid bare anew the dysfunction of the Trump presidency.

Failure on healthcare could cast some doubt on the scope of tax reform legislation, a priority for big pharma executives as they look for ways to use overseas profits without paying a hefty U.S. levy.

The president could get sued from insurance providers for the remaining 2017 subsidy payments, and he could face an angry consumer base that will be outraged with higher premium payments with no help to cover the costs. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told ABC's "This Week" that he would change those regulations that drive up costs or "hurt" patients. The items rumored to be included were the individual mandate, the employer mandate, and the medical device tax. The ads were targeted at the younger, healthier enrollees who level out the cost for everyone.

Perhaps it is time for lawmakers to take a break from health care and deal with important matters such as tax reform. If the administration stopped, it could lead to more uncertainty. "We're going to get it".

Arkansas Republicans became the state's majority party in part by focusing their ire on the federal health care overhaul over the past several years and vowing its repeal, even in local and legislative races where they didn't have a vote on the matter. "The Republican Majority has worked in secrecy since the first day they started crafting legislation to repeal the ACA, and the failed attempts this week are a result of their path toward repeal". Notably, given his earlier speech, McCain voted in favor of the bill.

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