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GOP Changing Its Mind on Repealing and Replacing Obamacare?

GOP Changing Its Mind on Repealing and Replacing Obamacare?

Which is it?

Who knows? It seems to change every single week. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have now said that they would settle to repair Obamacare instead of a full repeal:

And Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee — another panel with a crucial role in the effort to repeal the ACA — said Thursday that he “could stand either” repealing or repairing the law. “I’m saying I’m open to anything. Anything that will improve the system, I’m for,” he said.

Alexander compared it to a bridge that needs repairs:

Alexander, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, said at a hearing Wednesday: “I think of it as a collapsing bridge. . . . You send in a rescue team and you go to work to repair it so that nobody else is hurt by it and you start to build a new bridge, and only when that new bridge is complete, people can drive safely across it, do you close the old bridge. When it’s complete, we can close the old bridge, but in the meantime, we repair it. No one is talking about repealing anything until there is a concrete practical alternative to offer Americans in its place.”

Look, as much as I want Obamacare to completely disappear because socialized health insurance has no place in America, I also know that we are stuck with this awful law. But I thought the GOP planned on working on a replacement for Obamacare rather than just fixing it.

Maybe the law really is too complicated to repeal and replace, but maybe they should have thought about it before speaking out. Then again, we all know the GOP has a YUGE messaging problem. On Thursday, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) even admitted miscommunication among the GOP:

On Thursday, Ryan tried to right the party’s message on health care by insisting that repair is the same thing as replace.

“There’s a miscommunication going on,” he said Thursday morning on “Fox & Friends.” “If we’re going to repair the U.S. health-care system . . . you must repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) admitted on CNN that the party can only do so much when it comes to repealing Obamacare:

We only have so much power to repeal certain elements of ObamaCare through reconciliation — 51 votes — the taxes, the subsidies,” Johnson told CNN on Friday morning.

“So many of the market reforms — I would call them the market distortions — that have caused premiums to skyrocket and out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles to skyrocket, those are probably going to need 60 votes. And it doesn’t sound like the Democrats are really willing to bear the responsibility of the mess they created.”

Johnson has been one of the few that has talked about just repairing the law, but has found that no one can fix it “and that repairing the law simply meant fixing the damage that it has already done.” But Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) don’t think they can even repair the law:

“It gets a little confusing,” Cornyn said. “I don’t think even if we wanted to repair Obamacare we could do it. That’s why I believe we’re going to do repeal and replace.”

“If you’re talking about repairing the Affordable Care Act, it’s unrepairable,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus. “We need to repeal it. We need to replace it. If you want to call that a repair, so be it, but I don’t know that that makes it any more palatable to the folks back home.”

Vice President Mike Pence said that President Donald Trump intends to stick with the “repeal and replace” plan he has touted:

“We are absolutely committed to follow through on President Trump’s directive to repeal and replace ObamaCare and to have the Congress do it at the same time,” Pence told Fox News’s Sean Hannity.

Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) delivered his plan to replace Obamacare. Paul concentrated the most on Health Savings Accounts. His plan will eliminate “the maximum allowable annual contribution” so people can put as much money into the HSA as they want. He also removed the requirement that those with an HSA must enroll “in a high deductible health care plan.” That way those who use Medicare, VA, TRICARE, and IHS have to the option to establish their own HSA.

Paul’s plan allows people to use money in their HSA to purchase health insurance. People may also rollover their HSA account to a child, parent, grandparent, or spouse.

Paul showcased his plan a few days after his colleagues Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) unveiled their combined plan. This plan would leave the majority of the power to the states, letting each one decide “whether the want to keep ObamaCare.” The states that want Obamacare can keep the entire with “its subsidies, mandates and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.” Those that choose to opt out will have another plan to “provide a uniform tax credit linked to a health savings account to help people afford a basic, less comprehensive health insurance plan.”


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FIRST, burn it all. Root and branch.

That’s what we were told would happen, and it damn well better…!!!

Henry Hawkins | February 3, 2017 at 5:50 pm

The least they could do (literally) is repeal it and replace it with what existed before. What existed before wasn’t good, with constantly rising premiums, but it was far better than Obamacare; essentially enact a do-over. That’s the least.

I get the sneaking feeling we’re seeing another monumental GOP lie coming. How else could they blow the 2018 midterms? The best predictor of future behavior is…….

    The problem is that we can’t go back to what we had before. We can repeal the ACA (assuming we somehow overcome the filibuster) but all the people whose old coverage it destroyed won’t get it back. The damage has already been done (as 0bama intended), so the only option is forward to a new and better system, not back to the old one.

When 0bamacare is repealed, it is “replaced” by what went before. Each state has laws about health care. Besides, we as tax payers have for decades been supporting hospitals with the understanding that indigent clients will be cared for. Good. Does this mean that if you severe a finger or hand, you injury will be tended to? Yes. Does it mean the severed finger or hand will be re-attached? Not unless you have insurance or can pay for it. We, the taxpayers, only pay for so much. Were there some people using emergency rooms for medical care? Yes. But studies have found some people, once given health care, will use the emergency rooms instead of scheduling appointments. The remedy for that is to charge them for using the emergency room when they could have used the day time walk in clinic.

Do people die on the streets? Yes. But some of the street people are choosing homelessness as a way of life. Do we need to provide shelters for people who lack the mental capacity to care for themselves? Yes. Do we need to require able-bodied adults to work to receive government subsistence? Absolutely, and that includes healthcare.

What we have now in DC is probably the last time in many years that the R’s are going to have this advantage in numbers and the SCOTUS. If this bunch of spineless weasels misuse their power and do nothing that they were elected on, there will be a blood bath for them in their home states. One thing we can acknowledge about the miserable Demorats is that when they go all in on something like they are doing now, they have no conscience about hurting anyone in their way. Our side never wants to harm anyone so we fold like a cheap tent. My answer to the obamacare problem is to block grant the money allocated for it to the states and let them spend it like they want along with insurance being sold across state lines. But with one caveat; no federal bailouts EVER! If the pollyanna states want to promise everything to their citizens then so be it. But they won’t get any more money when they fail.

Trump will get er done

Rand Paul shows the folly of ideological libertarianism – the lack of understanding of human nature.

We have been training our citizens not to defer gratification for at least two generations, and Rand Paul expects them, half of whom have double-digit IQs, and totally contrary to human nature, to put money into HSAs! Is this not complete idiocy?

The idea that a vast selection of health insurance “options” will solve the problem is another example. It is a huge amount of effort for me to comprehend the “options” of just the one employer-based health insurance plan I have.

If this is the best the Republicans can do, then I’m ready to submit myself to the death panels.

There never was a health care problem in this country. No one was bleeding to death in the gutters because they did not have access to medical aid. There was, however, an insurance problem and a payment problem.

There is a big difference between a health care crisis and an insurance crisis. One involves things like hearts and lungs and the other involves rectal sphincters. Not that there is anything wrong with rectal sphincters but they are not worth turning a fairly functional system into a dysfunctional system and claiming it was about caring for the sick and elderly.

Ryan, McConnell, McCain, Graham, Rubio – when the going gets tough, the rinos stab their base in the back.

The GOP is a dead party of rino rats – the ‘Trump’ party is in high office.

In the technical fields, there’s a saying about fixing any problem. A fix can be—

• good
• quick
• cheap

Pick any two.

Politicians always hide the taxes they impose. With the mandate requiring hospitals to treat the indigent, the bill falls to the hospital’s users. A ‘user tax’ as the government is wont to call it. Much the same as the tax on gasoline to pay for highways; a person does not need a car to shop at a grocery store, but when he does, he uses those highways.

So it is with healthcare; instead of collecting funds and paying for mandated health care out of general revenues, the government wants to blame health care for the costs imposed by the indigent. “We’re not raising taxes; it’s those greedy doctors and hospitals that are the problem.”

Finally faced with control of all three branches of government, the GOP has run out of excuses so they have switched from Repeal to Replace and now to Repair. Those aren’t the three Rs I was taught in grade school. If the GOP doesn’t get the government out of health care entirely, including subsidies for employer provided health care and health care providers as insurers, there will be only very expensive yet marginal health care at best.

Once again, we see the republicans for what they have been repeatedly, backstabbers. Their base wants Obamacare repealed completely. There may be some disagreement with what should replace it, but talk of repair is nothing but code for keeping it.

Henry Hawkins | February 4, 2017 at 1:36 pm

The Great Betrayal begins…………

“Some Congressional Republicans say we should just fix Obamacare, forget repeal and replace”

    They may want to “fix” it, but Pence seemed pretty assured when he insisted that the plan is to meet Trump’s campaign promise to repeal ObamaCare (Mary quotes him, but watch the interview). Many in the GOP would love to keep it all, many do want to repeal, and leadership is worried about the parts of it that require, under current rules (those rules set in and by the Constitution), a 2/3 vote to repeal. They can only force budgetary changes via reconciliation, they can’t repeal it without 2/3 votes. (This was the same problem the Dems faced when they wanted to change basic, non-budgetary parts but couldn’t after Scott Brown was elected because they didn’t have the votes anymore.)

    It feels like betrayal now, and it always has, but it’s not like they can just repeal it all on a majority vote. So how do Trump and Pence get it repealed without supermajorities in both houses of Congress? Good question. But that’s always been the question: the only thing that has changed is that we now have a president who would sign a repeal; getting it to his desk is the issue.

      There aren’t any parts that need a 2/3 vote to repeal, unless Trump turns against it. Your comment only makes sense if you’re referring to the filibuster, which (1) is 3/5, (2) is only in the senate, and (3) isn’t in the constitution.