Trump signals he will work with Republican holdouts on health bill

Posted June 26, 2017

Trump, during the campaign phase of the USA presidential polls, and even after his election, had raised hopes of a healthcare act to replace Obamacare that would guarantee "universal healthcare" but going by the versions of the Republican healthcare bill so far, there has been a growing consensus in the United States that if implemented in the current form, the Republican legislation would devoid millions of the much needed healthcare protection and at the same time would increase healthcare cost for many and would ruin Medicaid, a U.S. government programme for financially weaker section that has been in place for decades. The nuts and bolts of legislation and the maddening, unpredictable ways and rhythms of Congress can seem foreign to him.

The American people should be pleased that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not rushed to bring the final version of the Senate proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare to the floor, for there is much to discuss. U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of NY has led the charge, calling the bill "heartless" while pushing a series of procedural requests meant to prevent the Republicans from a quick vote.

The Affordable Care Act offered help paying premiums to people earning between 100 to 400 percent of the poverty line, under the assumption that those under the poverty line would be covered by Medicaid.

On taxes, a working group of four top lawmakers is meeting weekly in hopes of coming up with a unified GOP tax plan for a vote this fall.

Determining the fitness of the Senate Republicans' version of a new health care bill is somewhat like sampling the dough of a biscuit not yet baked.

Perhaps due to the bill's length and complexity, they have yet to comment extensively on the bill's details.

"I've done in five months what other people haven't done in years", Trump said in an interview that aired Friday on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends".

In his post on Thursday, Obama notably echoed Trump's alleged assertion behind closed doors that the healthcare legislation passed by House Republicans in May was "mean". "He will tell you from the health care experience that he's talked to nearly every single member. And I'm not against it just because I want to be against it".

But the Senate is even more complicated and Trump's lack of interest in the nitty-gritty details of legislation is a liability.

House bill: Would eliminate employer mandate. The Senate and House bills would raise that limit to the annual out-of-pocket maximum for high-deductible plans. Both the Senate and House bills could weaken such control by the federal government.

The CBO is slated to release its analysis of the Senate bill this coming week. That would - or should - force Democrats to come to the table to pass a bill that is satisfactory to both parties. "Remember keep your doctor, keep your plan?"

"I don't think the bill's adequate now", the former presidential candidate stated. "I've been encouraging leadership, the White House, anybody I can talk to for quite some time now". The idea was a relatively late addition to Trump's talking points.

The health care bill could underscore the perils of the president's poor job approval ratings, which have hovered around 40 percent this year.

"Since the US Congress began its discussion of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I've advocated that any changes ensure we do not undermine coverage or reduce funding that supported the Medicaid expansion, and that states should have a voice in the discussion".

To succeed in gutting health coverage for millions of Americans, Senate Republican leaders need to get a series of lies accepted as truth. When it comes to health care, the main thing the bill does is take money away from providing it to pay for the tax reductions it contains and for future bonanzas the Republicans have promised.

"We anticipate it will be hundreds of thousands of Oregonians that will be stripped of health care under this proposal in order to get a tax break for wealthy Americans", said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat.