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House Passes Budget, Paving Way for Obamacare Repeal

House Passes Budget, Paving Way for Obamacare Repeal

The road to repeal?

Ealry Thursday morning in the midst of a vote-a-thon, the Senate had enough votes to get the Obamacare repeal rolling. Friday, the House too passed the budget, paving the way for repeal and what the Trump administration promises to be simultaneous replace of Obamacre.

Yesterday, we blogged:

The process of repealing President Obama’s signature legislation is already underway.

Early Thursday morning, the Senate passed what they’re calling a “repeal resolution” or the first step in repealing the Affordable Care Act.

The vote fell perfectly along party lines:

The Senate voted 51-48 along party lines for the measure, which relies on the same budget process used seven years ago to approve the landmark healthcare law to now attempt to dismantle it.

“This resolution will set the stage for true legislative relief from Obamacare that Americans have long demanded while ensuring a stable transition,” Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi of Wyoming said, just after 1 a.m. “The Obamacare bridge is collapsing and we’re sending in a rescue team.”

Senator McConnell said, “the next step will then be the legislation to finally repeal Obamacare and move us toward smarter health policies. The repeal legislation will include a stable transition period as we work toward patient-centered health care.”

The House has the next move where votes are expected Friday.

In his weekly press briefing Thursday, Speaker Ryan spoke to the urgency of providing regulatory relief.

“Our goal though, is to deliver relief as soon as possible. Because this is not just a matter of us keeping our promise to the American people; this is a rescue mission,” said Speaker Ryan.

Unlike Obamacare’s passage, Ryan promised a methodical, thoughtful replacement plan.

Friday, the House passed the budget, making way for reconcilliation:

It’s one of the final and biggest insults Obama will endure before he turns over the White House to Donald Trump next week. It’s also a sign that Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are, haltingly, getting on the same page as they look to gut the Affordable Care Act in the first 100 days of the new administration. Still, the harder work — to actually repeal and replace the law — is still to come.

The House passed the budget on a near party-line vote, 227-198. The action follows Senate passage of the budget, 51-48, which took place in the early hours of Thursday morning after a contentious seven-hour debate. Now that both chambers have passed the budget, Republicans have at their fingertips a powerful procedural tool known as reconciliation, which shields legislation from Senate filibusters and will allow them to ram through repeal with simple majorities.

Presiden-elect Trump said in a press conference Wednesday that the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare will be released simultaneously and will occur after HHS Secretary nominee Rep. Price is confirmed.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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Reconciliation: It’s not just for democrats anymore.

“…the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare will be released simultaneously and will occur after HHS Secretary nominee Rep. Price is confirmed.”

Price? CR rating of “C”, and a Boehner backer par excellence?

Hold me back…

Let’s hope that state by state “regulation” of health insurance will be minimized so that nationwide plans from companies and professional associations can provide the competition needed.

Also encouraged by possible steps to end the protectionism of Pharma.

I’m a Christian conservative, and I will be happy to see the last of Obama. I know that Obamacare has been horrible for many people. However, two close friends have benefited tremendously from it and are terrified that they will be unable to afford health insurance under its replacement. I think that OC may have be better in Florida than elsewhere.

I am quite ambivalent about the health insurance issue. On the one hand:

Government is best at dealing with problems which are well understood, like roads (although it can screw that up too). And _nobody_ understands why healthcare costs are the way they are. For example, why did an ER try to charge me $17K for a CT scan when they know they will get less than a tenth of that from my insurance company? I’m sure some of that is because of government interference, but I am certain nobody knows what health care expenses would look like if all government interference was removed.

On the other hand:

Health “insurance” is not really like other kinds of insurance. It’s more like a payment plan. I don’t think the “insurance” model works well for health care. A lot of people who can imagine their house burning down have more trouble imagining they might get cancer.

Republicans are very fond of giving people “choices”, but making those choices requires more mental horsepower and ability to defer gratification than a whole lot of people have. I’m particularly amused by the proposal that HSAs will solve all our problems. Not when half the population have double-digit IQs.

Also, the proliferation of multiple insurers, each with multiple policies makes a tremendous amount of work for which doctors have to hire staff.

The sheer amount of paperwork involved with multiple insurers is astonishing. Explanations of Benefits are difficult to read. Billing codes are complex. Single payer eliminates that.

I’m aware of the horrors of single payer too. The VA, NHC, and I’ve heard stories about Canada.

I think all will agree that there is no happy medium between free market and single payer. I think the Obamacare advocates know that, never expected OC to work, and expected it to force single payer eventually.

Please fee free to argue.

    I have a more rare perspective on this than most, as I HAD cancer at 17 under the old rules, and I blew through over a million dollars of health-care expense in putting me into remission.

    The trade-off for survival is Pulmonary and Cardiac toxicity (Heart and Lung damage, with permanent cough and routine heart pain) and slowly progressing Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (tingling in my legs and feet, and occasionally in my fingers and hands).

    I learned VERY, VERY quickly exactly which plans of health insurance were available to me under the old rules, and exactly what I had to pay as part of those plans. The key words that I learned to look for were “lifetime maximum benefit” and I made it a point that any employer that I worked for HAD to have at least one health insurance with no “lifetime maximum benefit” (Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO, United Healthcare PPO or CIGNA PPO were generally my three options).

    When my wife decided that she wanted to join the zoo-keeping field and that job field would require searching nationally for an employment position, I agreed on the thought that “I can pass the bar anywhere, there are only about 250,000 Zookeeper positions in the US, so finding one is difficult (average 5,000 per state). The trade-off for being willing to move anywhere that my wife wanted to work was that it HAD to offer Health Insurance, because there was at least a 50% chance that I was going to have to go into private, solo practice as an attorney, and there would be no way for me to afford to purchase insurance coverage for myself or the family on the private market.

    Individuals have to learn to make choices.

    As for the PPACA, it was ALWAYS intended as a bridge to “single-payer.” Anyone who tells you differently is either engaging in wishful thinking or doesn’t understand basic economics. The sales pitch behind the PPACA was that it would penalize individuals that didn’t purchase health insurance by making them pay a fine. But they didn’t make the fine “painful” enough to change the behavior (and they couldn’t politically, because it would strike the young adults and those just above the Medicaid threshold hardest, which are the consistent Democrat voter block. Thus, those individuals that the PPACA absolutely needed to succeed refused to sign up, because they could have their cake and eat it too: pay the fine now, sign up later without penalty if a major medical event occurred.

    The Democrat Congress members KNEW this, but thought they could forestall the math for a few years by the introduction of the “risk corridors” that would funnel money to the insurance companies that they knew would lose money on the “sick” patients they were required to take on, but not get the “healthy” patients. The idea was that the “risk corridors” would be collapsed in a few years, the exchanges would then fail, and the government would “have” to expand Medicaid into a single-payer program available to EVERYBODY, because nobody else would be left to pick up the pieces.

    The Republican Congress members scuttled that by refusing to fund the risk corridors and making a big enough stink about it that the public actually NOTICED.

    That is what has caused the premature collapse of the PPACA exchange model, and it hasn’t been long enough for the non-exchange health insurance plans to go extinct yet.

    Ultimately, what you have in health-care is your garden-variety “Iron Triangle”: Speed, Cost, Quality. Pick two, give up the third.

    – You can have good care fast, but it will cost you a lot of money, because you’re incentivizing the market to add more providers by paying more.

    – You can have good care cheap, but it will take a LONG time to get it, because there are low incentives for new providers to join the market, and the providers that exist are over-burdened to give each patient the attention that patient needs.

    – you can have cheap care fast, but it will be of low quality, because there are not sufficient providers to take the time necessary to give each patient the attention that patient needs (because there are low incentives for new providers to join the market, and you’re trying to get to each patient in a reasonable time).

    Ultimately, the best method of health-care would be a non-interference model, where individual plans were free to offer their own menu WITHOUT being required to cover EVERYTHING. That would give individuals choices to pick from the health-care coverage that fit their needs (SOMEBODY is going to offer high-coverage plans, and somebody will offer “catastrophic coverage” plans). The point is that the PURCHASERS will tell you what is important to them by their acts.