Republicans ponder how to replace the Affordable Care Act
Jan 09 2017 by Kristina Bennett
Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, plan to scuttle Obamacare and then begin drafting legislation to revamp the entire u.s. health care system.
Republicans have criticized Obamacare for its climbing premiums and high out-of-pocket costs that can make it hard for individuals to afford care. And Republicans are divided in alternatives for the legislation that has provided 20 million Americans with insurance. Republicans will do their best to disguise this reality under the cloak of liberty, deregulation and consumer choice, but the economic and political trade-offs can not be avoided.
Unfortunately, Obama-determined to save his legacy and his signature healthcare reform law while thwarting any Republican revisions-went up to Capitol Hill to meet Democratic lawmakers in a closed-door meeting to plot strategies to accomplish this aim.
But following the Democrats closed-door meeting with Obama, newly ensconced Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY mocked Trump and the Republican leadership, arguing that they are trapped in their commitment to repeal Obamacare, but with no consensus on how to replace it. Now that the American people gave Republicans unified control of the government, there are no more excuses.
Louise Slaughter said Obama focused on how well the law is working, and on how many letters he's gotten in support of it.
Should President Obama ever support an ObamaCare repeal? But more than those of other outgoing presidents replaced by successors of the other party, they're in danger of being overturned.
The remarks come as some Republicans are publicly questioning the wisdom of repealing the healthcare law without introducing an immediate replacement.
When asked about a series of health care priorities, 67 percent said lowering the amount individuals pay for health care should be a "top priority" for Trump and Congress.
One reason is that they were never firmly established in the first place - and not just because the Democrats' 60-vote Senate supermajority existed for only eight months, from July 2009 to February 2010.
This week, the Senate Budget Committee put the means to gut Obamacare in a budget resolution that enables Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a simple majority vote.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wrote in an op-ed Tuesday that lawmakers shouldn't vote on repealing Obamacare until a replacement plan was developed. "Step one will be to repeal Obamacare".
But it's not clear that Republicans can actually keep Obamacare's insurance markets going during a transition period ― nor is it clear that Republicans actually have a way to deliver on their frequent promises to provide better coverage at lower costs.
They have pledged to develop a replacement over the next several years, which, they say, will protect the tens of millions of people who depend on the law's protections.
"The Republican plan to cut the healthcare law wouldn't make America great again, it would make America sick again and lead to chaos in the healthcare system", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told reporters.