GOP congressman says he can't support Obamacare repeal bill

Posted March 20, 2017

An estimated 4 million fewer people would have health insurance this year, rising to 14 million next year, and 24 million by 2024, according to the CBO.

Several Republicans from the Philadelphia region have also raised concerns about the GOP plan's potential impact on their constituents and over projections that health care costs could sharply rise for the older Americans and those with low incomes.

Cruz said Republicans needed to take their ideas for the third phase of the health care overhaul, a grab bag of legislative changes, and put them into the first phase, the American Health Care Act.

The legislation has drawn the ire of influential groups, such as the AARP.

They want the tax credits to be based on income and geographic location as well as age.

To help people deal with the exorbitant insurance premiums resulting from the mandates, Obamacare provided means-tested subsidies to many people. Many sincerely believe redistributive policy is morally wrong; that less-regulated markets are the best way to increase access to affordable coverage and won't foster dependency precisely because it isn't an entitlement; that insurance should be more minimal than ACA proponents think it should be; and so forth.

Dent has said he expects the bill will be changed in some form before it receives a vote in the House. Those were rejected a year ago when Andrew Slavitt, the acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said such limits would "undermine access to care and do not support the objectives of the program". By that year, 14 million fewer people would have Medicaid coverage, and program spending would be about 25 percent lower than what's now projected.

The Congressional Budget Office evaluation of the proposed Obamacare replacement gave liberals yet another excuse to demonize Republicans.

Among the changes being considered are allowing states to impose a work requirement for able-bodied Medicaid recipients and increasing tax credits for lower income and older Americans, he said. And 1.5 million of them get coverage through TennCare which is the state's Medicaid program, also on the chopping block if the repeal passes. The new willingness to compromise was a bid for more support from moderate Republicans, who expressed continuing unease about the plan to replace Barack Obama's health law unless significant changes were made.

Mishory points out the GOP proposal to roll back Medicaid expansion could hurt some young, single adults.

Illinois Health and Hospital Association spokesman David Gross testified that Illinois would lose at least $40 billion in federal Medicaid funding over the act's 10-year lifespan. But that would cause the bill to increase the federal deficit by almost $200 billion, which would violate budget reconciliation instructions approved by the House and Senate in January.

If the federal government can't come to the aid of those American citizens who need it most, who can they turn to?

And after 2020 there is no specific federal funding for expanded coverage.

He said the administration needs to make certain that it provides the states the kind of flexibility that they need to fashion their Medicaid programme for their vulnerable population in a way that actually works for patients. And, again, it would do all of this while cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

But Price acknowledged that changes to the House bill could potentially cost Republican votes in the Senate. Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

"The final page hasn't been written" on the bill, he said.

She worries the Republican model won't be affordable. The American Health Care Act starts with the 2015 Repeal and includes policies to allow Americans to transition to a 21st century health care system that lowers costs, encourages competition and most importantly, empowers patients to take control of their health care decisions.

President Trump's proposed budget follows his pledge to add $54 billion to the military pushing spending on the military and veterans to more than $600 billion. Ted Cruz has championed, most likely would run afoul of another part of the Byrd rule, which requires that provisions in reconciliation legislation must be germane to the budget.

"We need to stop in Washington measuring the success of programs by how much money we're putting into it", Price said.

But the House bill goes in the opposite direction.

"You're not going to buy insurance until there's something imminent, and even then, you might not be able to afford it", Guss said.

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Whitlock isn't so sure.

The rollback of Medicaid expansion would affect both the Denver metro area, a Democratic stronghold, and rural Colorado, where President Trump and his party did well in 2016. "But if they put something together that could get 50 votes, that's when he has a different conversation".

Harris Meyer is a senior reporter providing news and analysis on a broad range of healthcare topics. A graduate of Northwestern University, Meyer won the 2000 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.