Republicans hope to have the bill on Trump’s desk by Feb. 20.
Republicans gathered on Capitol Hill with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to discuss Obacamare where he announced that President-elect Donald Trump plans to use executive action to repeal the law:
“It will be an orderly transition to something better … using executive authority to ensure it’s an orderly transition,” Pence told reporters. “We’re working now on a series of executive orders that will enable that orderly transition to take place even as Congress appropriately debates alternatives to and replacements for ObamaCare.”
He insists the repeal “needs to be done” and they will “keep our promise to the American people.”
The House Republicans want to have the bill on Trump’s desk by February 20. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) said new House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black (R-TN) suggested the date in the meeting.
Pence and other Republicans did not offer many details or specifics from the meeting. But others have leaked a bit of information:
According to a GOP aide, the plan is to use a powerful budgeting procedural tool — called reconciliation — to speed the repeal process, a process that the Senate began yesterday. The expectation is that legislation will land on President Trump’s desk by late February.
“He said the effort to reform health care starts today,” according to a lawmaker who was in the meeting with Pence. “President Trump will do what he can through executive action to make sure there is an orderly transition for the American people…and it will also require legislation and we will work together. And we will coordinate that. “
Both Pence and Trump have urged fellow Republicans to remind the American people that the failures associated with the law belong to the Democrats:
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) kicked off the new Congress with a resolution “that makes it easier for the Senate to approve repeal legislation and calls for four distinct committees to send over a legislative plan by jan. 27.” Fox News reported:
“Today, we take the first steps to repair the nation’s broken health care system, removing Washington from the equation and putting control back where it belongs: with patients, their families and their doctors,” Enzi, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said in a statement.
Enzi and other leaders of the Republican-controlled Congress are relying on a parliamentary maneuver known as “budget reconciliation” to dismantle the law because it avoids a Senate Democrat filibuster and requires only a 51-vote majority for passage in the chamber, not the 60-vote majority.
But while Republicans desire to repeal Obamacare, they know they have to offer a replacement and it could take a long time to change everything around. They want to cause as few disruptions to the American people. Millions have opted to sign up for Obamacare, but those not involved have seen plans grow in cost, plans constantly changing, and losing doctors. Our own Kemberlee became a victim of Obamacare’s rate hikes…by 53%. As she pointed out, the AP reported about the massive hikes associated with the law:
Premiums will go up sharply next year under President Barack Obama’s health care law, and many consumers will be down to just one insurer, the administration confirmed Monday. That’s sure to stoke another “Obamacare” controversy days before a presidential election.
Before taxpayer-provided subsidies, premiums for a midlevel benchmark plan will increase an average of 25 percent across the 39 states served by the federally run online market, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Some states will see much bigger jumps, others less.
Moreover, about 1 in 5 consumers will only have plans from a single insurer to pick from, after major national carriers such as UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Aetna scaled back their roles.
“Consumers will be faced this year with not only big premium increases but also with a declining number of insurers participating, and that will lead to a tumultuous open enrollment period,” said Larry Levitt, who tracks the health care law for the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.
The vast majority of the more than 10 million customers who purchase through HealthCare.gov and its state-run counterparts do receive generous financial assistance. “Enrollment is concentrated among very low-income individuals who receive significant government subsidies to reduce premiums and cost-sharing,” said Caroline Pearson of the consulting firm Avalere Health
But an estimated 5 million to 7 million people are either not eligible for the income-based assistance, or they buy individual policies outside of the health law’s markets, where the subsidies are not available. The administration is urging the latter group to check out HealthCare.gov. The spike in premiums generally does not affect the employer-provided plans that cover most workers and their families.
In some states, the premium increases are striking. In Arizona, unsubsidized premiums for a hypothetical 27-year-old buying a benchmark “second-lowest cost silver plan” will jump by 116 percent, from $196 to $422, according to the administration report.
This is why a few Republicans have no problem moving forward with a repeal even if they do not have a replacement:
“Healthcare will be better and less expensive when ObamaCare is repealed,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), head of the conservative Freedom Caucus. “I believe that.”
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