Tuesday was a busy day for House Speaker Paul Ryan. Dozen of republicans met to discuss medicaid and a potential alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
“Inside the closed-door sessions, senior lawmakers walked through a variety of options for replacement — including a radical reorientation of the Medicaid program, an open-ended insurance entitlement and a fixed “block grant” that would let states decide how to apportion health-care dollars for the needy. They also considered an indefinite extension of the ACA Medicaid expansion that would allow those now covered to remain so,’ writes The Washington Post.
Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page about repealing Obamacare.
“I hear things that are unacceptable to me,” said Paul to Politico. “If they don’t seem to care what conservatives think about complete repeal of Obamacare, they’re going to be shocked when they count the votes.”
Ryan’s repeal plan has aggressive timelines. The process would start by the end of February and is projected to be completed by the end of march.
Some Republicans believe it’s much too difficult to do so in this short timeframe.
“I don’t think you can fully repeal and replace it in that amount of time,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). “It took months to write Obamacare, the original bill, and years to phase it in. It is going to take time to unwrite it and replace it with something else.”
“Right now, I would say it’s not that easy to repeal it,” said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., to Politico. “I don’t know where the White House is. The president has said he’s not going to be kicking people off the program, off the rolls. He’s not going to do that.”
President Donald Trump was adamant about replacing the healthcare system, while he was on the campaign trail. But, the president has said that the process would take until 2018.
Although Trump has proven he is keeping promises made before entering the oval office, he has backed away from the healthcare discussion.
Others are offering strong support to Ryan’s repeal plan.
“We should do full repeal,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a leading House conservative. “And full repeal means not taking the taxes” from people.
Ryan offers what he calls “conservative reforms,” where the insurance exchanges would be opened up to create a more competitive marketplace. He is unsure why the GOP can’t agree that this would be a great solution.
“There’s not one item in the plan that we think a Republican would object to,” said Ryan on the Fox News’ Sunday Morning show.
What most Republicans do agree on is that Obamacare has been proven to be unsuccessful.
Humana, which covers about 150,000 people in 11 states, just announced that it would be leaving ACA exchanges next year. Mark Bertolin, chief executive at Aetna, which just called off a $34 billion acquisition with Humana, said that healthy individuals are leaving the healthcare system due to preminum price spikes, leaving the marketplace filled with sickest customers.
Even though many lawmakers acknowledge this, finding a solution seems like too grand of a task for some.
“There’s going to be a temptation for policymakers to take the easy way out,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
“What we’re trying to do is really create some urgency,” said Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee. “We’re okay with talking through that and hearing what they [House leaders] have for us, but ultimately, we’ve promised to the American people that we’re going to get this thing off the books as quick as possible. That’s what we’re asking the leadership to do.”
Ryan said we are running out of time and need to introduce a resolution before it’s too late.
“We have to stop the collapse, and we have better ideas that have beentime-tested that will make sure that we give the American people the kind of relief they deserve,” said Ryan to reporters after Tuesday’s meeting.
To Hell with Obamacare!
This book was written by Joe Gilbertson of the Punching Bag Post Staff. This is the solution to the Obamacare fiasco: