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Questions Remain: Can House GOP Can Win Enough Votes for New Healthcare Deal?

Questions Remain: Can House GOP Can Win Enough Votes for New Healthcare Deal?

The deal may win conservatives, but at the expense of moderate support

Vice President Mike Pence has been conducting meetings with lawmakers over a new Obamacare repeal plan Tuesday as the House scrambles to clean up the last healthcare failure.

Unfortunately, it does not look like that the tide will turn anytime soon. While talks include seeking out provisions to appease hard-line conservatives, moderates may now push back.

Some House Conservatives want to change Obamacare to include provisions that will allow states to choose waivers for a few regulations:

The first regulation, known as essential health benefits, requires insurance plans to cover services like mental health and prescription drugs. The second, known as community rating, prevents insurers from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions.

Conservatives have long argued that the two regulations drive up premiums, and some of them have reacted favorably to the proposal.

Most moderates do not want that option. One Republican source told The Hill that “this concept is already showing signs of losing a ton” of votes while no one has been able to pick up any yes votes.

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) will stick with his no vote as he “warned against allowing sick people to be charged more.” He believes removing the pre-existing condition provision “would effectively result in a return to the days before ObamaCare.”

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) liked the failed AHCA bill, but remains hesitant to support this one due to the community rating:

“I appreciate the state’s rights argument but recognize that there’s a reason behind community rating and the benefit that it brings to the insurance reforms,” he told reporters.

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) said the leaders may remove that provision, but that means they may lose the House Freedom Caucus. Without that group’s support, the AHCA failed before Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) could bring it to the floor for a vote.

Ryan and the White House do not have committed support from the group for this deal either:

While Freedom Caucus members say they are encouraged by the offer, none of them have committed support, saying they want to wait to review the legislative text first.

“All of our nos were open mindedly willing to look at that, and so in doing so, that’s a step in the right direction,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus.

Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) told the Washington Examiner that if he sees the changes that he “heard last night, that is not enough to persuade me the bill is good for America.”

Despite these concerns, some in the GOP are optimistic about the bill, including Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), a member of the Republican Study Committee:

“We’ve got a good solution moving forward,” Flores said. “The continuing dialogue has been helpful. There is going to be a big meeting this evening with the three big organizations and the chairs and leadership. Pence said he would come if needed.”


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What’s hard about this?

START with “ObamaDoggeral is DEAD”.

You can work forward from there.

AFTER you’ve kept your FLUCKING promise…

The so-called moderates are idiots. You can’t order insurance companies to lose money and stay in business at the same time.

Forget about the return of HillaryCare. It is being reported that McConnell is two votes short of prevailing on the nuclear option. That means counting Pence in a tie, their are 3 Republicans going knock-kneed on this. Naturally, it’s McCain, Corker and Murkowski.

So even setting themselves as the only team on the field, the Republicans may fail to score. How is it going to go? Run the ball down to the one yard line and then fumble it out of bounds on fourth down?

The uniparty kabuki is still in play.

inspectorudy | April 4, 2017 at 8:34 pm

What is so baffling to me is that no matter what the House comes up with the Senate will have to modify it for them to accept it. THEN it goes back to conference between the two houses. Why not pass something that is not perfect and then let the Dems in the Senate take the blame for not helping to pass the new bill? That way they look like the partisan ones and not the R’s. Maybe to be a member of the House you have to have a very low IQ.

    Close The Fed in reply to inspectorudy. | April 4, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    To Inspector Rudy:

    In most transactions I’ve been involved in, if I’m willing to negotiate, the negotiation goes in the opposite direction of my preference. So, I start high, like most people, because the price will go lower.

    If they start low on market forces, they won’t get more market forces added to the bill later,they’ll only be removed.

    I assume this is the thinking. I agree with them. Obamacare-Lite is not what I voted for.

      inspectorudy in reply to Close The Fed. | April 5, 2017 at 10:41 am

      You misunderstood my remarks. I meant why not send the Freedom caucus’ version to the Senate and then let the Dems explain why they will not support it. I would never advocate the original version presented by Ryan.

How about they vote on a different bill, such as the one proposed by Rep Brooks (AL), it was one sentence.

Repeal, do not replace. By replacing the Uniparty, Republican side, takes ownership of this mess. Government has no business being in the healthcare business. Period!


DDsModernLife | April 4, 2017 at 10:18 pm

I’m first of all a little mystified that a group who says to their colleagues, “You campaigned year after year on repeal, you voted time and time again to repeal when 0bama was in the White House – now, let’s repeal!” is here characterized as “hard-line conservatives.” Huh? How about characterizing the so-called “moderates” as habitual liars and frauds?

Secondly, “Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)…believes removing the pre-existing condition provision ‘would effectively result in a return to the days before ObamaCare’.” Is that not a worthy goal, indeed, THE WHOLE POINT!! (Heh. Leonard Lance? New Jersey has sent Lancelot Link to Congress.)

Look, the Congress is NOT going to pass ANY bill which simply repeals the existing provisions of the ACA, wholesale. There is no popular support for that, at this point.

Because of the stratospheric rise in healthcare charges, over the last 50 years, health insurance is now a must for anyone who gets sick or is seriously injured. This the reality of the situation. It is no longer politically possible to return to the pre-ACA days without committing political suicide.

The reason why the ACA had the support that it did, when it was passed, was because it was touted as providing AFFORDABLE healthcare insurance to everyone. People bought that because they needed insurance to pay for healthcare procedures and the premiums had gotten so high that they had to either cut their coverage options, increase their deductibles or take out another mortgage on the house to afford insurance. To increase profits, insurers had decreased the number of policies that they would write for preexisting conditions. Now, all of this was reasonable, from a free-market perspective. But, it was a little hard on the consumer, especially if he had a preexisting condition.

However, the provisions of the ACA were actually designed to collapse the healthcare insurance industry more quickly and force the nation into a single payer, government funded health insurance system, which would have required cost controls on services to be effective. This would have given the government, especially the federal government, total control of the healthcare system. In the 8 years the ACA has been in existence, the system has degraded to the point where it can not be fixed by returning to free-market principles without creating a situation which will prove catastrophic to a very large number of people who need some type of medical care on a regular basis. To do what really needs to be done, remove federal funding for healthcare from the system entirely [including Medicare and Medicaid], can not be done without an elected representative destroying his political career.

What the Congress and the President need to do is to take as much time as necessary to come up with a comprehensive bill which will reduce the amount of government intrusion into the healthcare system, over the next few years, and see if the system will self adjust. There will still be some hardship cases, but costs should reduce as guaranteed payment dwindles. This is not something that can be planned overnight. Most of our elected representatives do not even understand the problem, let alone have any ideas for a solution. To act precipitously can actually speed up the collapse of the system and leave people without a safety net for the problem that our government created in the first place.

    DDsModernLife in reply to Mac45. | April 4, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Wholesale repeal would be “political suicide”? Well, it seems odd that the Congress Critters who “play-voted” 4 dozen times over the last 6yrs to repeal were returned to the House.

    Meanwhile regarding ACA you said, “The reason why the ACA had the support that it did…was because it was touted as providing AFFORDABLE healthcare insurance to everyone. People bought that..” No, they didn’t “buy it.” The Congress that gave us the ACA was promptly and rightfully tossed out in the biggest “House cleaning” in nearly a century.

    The health insurance market was screwed-up by gov’t meddling long before the Socialists took ownership in 2010. Don’t try to claim that the situation leading up to 0bamacare was the natural result of free market conditions.

    And finally to, “take as much time as necessary to come up with a comprehensive bill…” No. As soon as you hear the word “comprehensive” attached to anything coming out of Washington, D.C., run, far and fast…don’t look back.

      PhillyGuy in reply to DDsModernLife. | April 5, 2017 at 9:14 am

      I agree with you. By my count straight repeal would get maybe 48 votes. Lots of people like to shout about just doing that but there is a political reality embedded in straight repeal.

      Let me take these points in order.

      First, the reason that the Republicans who voted for repeal were returned to office is because repeal, or even significant replacement, did not occur. What id the biggest complaint of the consumer with regard to health insurance? The fact that they can no afford insurance which provides adequate health care coverage. Eliminate the ACA, entirely, and the government subsidy disappears, immediately. So, the people who can afford the current premiums, without that stipend lose their insurance. As repeal will in no way significantly reduce the charges for medical services, there is no incentive for health insurance providers to decrease deductibles. So, repeal only makes it worse for the consumer. And, when people lose their, by now, necessary health care insurance, they are not going to be favorably impressed with their elected representatives.

      The support for the ACA came from people who bought the lie that it would provide affordable health insurance for everyone. This was not the majority of people in this country, but it was where most of the support was located. Now, equating the Dem defeat in the 2010 elections with the passage of the ACA is a bit simplistic. There were also other factors at work. The economy was still in the toilet. the huge deficit inducing recovery acts were showing no discernible results. Illegal immigration enforcement was being ignored. And, none of the effects of the ACA had yet appeared, as it was passed and enacted in March of 2010. The manner in which it was passed likely contributed to the Dem defeat, but was not the sole reason for it. In fact, the manner in which it was passed suggests that the Dem leadership had already read the tea leaves and thought the change in partisan Congressional leadership was at least likely if not a certainly before this bill was introduced. In fact, the election of Der Donald was almost entire supported by his stand on the economy and immigration reform. Trump actually ran on universal, affordable health care and health care insurance. And, he still won.

      I have explained, at length, in previous threads exactly how government funded guaranteed, third party payers [Medicare and Medicaid] stimulated, if not caused, the increase in the cost of medical services. AS more people turned to private insurance plans to offset these increases, this continued to drive up costs to the consumer. The insurance industry sought, and found, a means to reduce their obligations by imposing limits on the percentage of the costs that they would pay. In order to protect their income, medical service providers simply raised their charges to the point where they had the same level of income. AS the charges continued to rise, the insurers were forced to raise premiums and/or increase the patient responsibility to offset costs. They also introduced plans, such as HMOs, and networks which the service provider members of were required to control the services provided to the patient. Understand? Now, to think for one moment that repeal of the ACA will cause an immediate reduction in service charges and, therefor, stimulate an immediate reduction in premium costs while reducing deductibles is wishful thinking. Free market forces will likely cause reductions to occur as the consumer will no longer be able to afford the services at the current prices. But, in the meantime, this will mean that the current problems of most people to obtain insurance and affordable health care will remain the same or worsen. Also, as the medical cage and insurance industries retrench, there will be staff lay-offs in these industries. The guaranteed third party payer system has been in place too long to be easily and painlessly removed.

      First of all, taking the time necessary to adequately study the problem and the consequences of any action goes a very long way to eliminating the chances of debilitating unforeseen consequences. So, let’s take our time on any bills regarding healthcare and healthcare insurance. Second, repealing, or even reducing, the ;provisions of the ACA will mean increased hardship for some people. As long as people believe that it will only happen to the other guy, they have no problem with forging ahead. But, the problem here is that, in the short run, repeal of the ACA will benefit no one. In the long run, it will benefit most of the people, who could afford insurance when the ACA took effect, to some degree over the long haul. As demand decreases, the cost of many medical services will decrease. But, this will take time. And, some people do not have time due to serious existing conditions. The question should be, how much pain are you willing to endure to repeal the ACA?

    tom swift in reply to Mac45. | April 5, 2017 at 1:00 am

    The reason why the ACA had the support that it did, when it was passed, was because it was touted as providing AFFORDABLE healthcare insurance to everyone.

    Not so. It had the support of the Democrats in Congress. Outside of Congress, only the socialists.

    Certainly nobody asked me—or anybody I know—for an opinion.

      Mac45 in reply to tom swift. | April 5, 2017 at 11:06 am

      I never said that it had majority support of the electorate. Please try not to read more into what I say than is evident.

Forget repeal & replace. Repeal and REJOICE!

I am for a comprehensive overhaul of healthcare. It can be done in 3 steps.

Step 1. Repeal Obamacare.
Step 2. Repeal the requirement that emergency rooms cannot turn people without insurance away.
Step 3. Let the states run their own healthcare the way they want.

inspectorudy | April 5, 2017 at 10:48 am

I am for going the auto car insurance route. Period! Do away with all corporate funding and tax breaks for employees/companies and make it all the same just like car insurance. Don’t like that? Most of you who have corporate insurance do not realize that you and the company are getting huge tax breaks. Then you complain when poor people get subsidies. You are all getting subsidies every year. Do you get subsidies for your car insurance? Can you get as little or as much coverage as you want/need? That is the way health insurance should be. No state line crap and no state minimum requirements like men having to buy maternity coverage. That is capitalism.

    Ah yes, automobile insurance. Let’s take a look at that, shall we?

    The reason why automobile insurance is required, in most states, is to protect others who may be damaged due to an interaction with the driver/owner of a motor vehicle. This includes medical service providers. In order for the policy holder to be covered for damage to his vehicle, he has to carry supplemental collision insurance, which usually has a deductible. And, vehicle replacement coverage is severely prorated.

    Also, the state mandates that all drives/owners, of motor vehicles, be members of the insurance pool. This is exactly like Obamacare, where everyone is required to be insured. This spreads out the exposure of the insurance companies. Then, there is the trend of increasing deductibles. In order to hold premiums down, deductibles have been steadily increasing.

    The same thing has been happening in the auto insurance industry as has been happening in the medical care insurance industry. Premiums and deductibles are going up and covered expenses are going down. It is slower, because there has not been a government funded, guaranteed, third party payer for damage from automobile accidents. You can still get any amount of insurance coverage that you wish, over and above the level mandated by the state. But, you must have the minimum level of insurance or you face severe penalties for failing to have it.

      buckeyeminuteman in reply to Mac45. | April 5, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      The difference between auto and health however is that I am not required to own a car or have a driver’s license. You choose to drive, you must get insurance.

        “The difference between auto and health however is that I am not required to own a car or have a driver’s license.”

        While I get your point, you are not required to have healthcare either. You can just choose pain or death if you wish.

        Very few people can do without a car and license.

          Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | April 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm

          Even here people can’t keep “health care” straight in their minds from “health INSURANCE”.


          buckeyeminuteman in reply to Barry. | April 6, 2017 at 9:23 am

          If the choice is pay for health insurance or pay a fine (tax according to Roberts), then it’s a requirement. When it comes to auto insurance, the choice is buy it or don’t own a car.

      Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | April 5, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      “Also, the state mandates that all drives/owners, of motor vehicles, be members of the insurance pool.”

      There may be a state or states that do that, but mostly you’re typically full of bullshit and opinions stated as fact.

      States require proof of financial responsibility, not insurance per se. There are more than a few ways to skin that cat, though most of us just purchase insurance.

      “This is exactly like Obamacare, where everyone is required to be insured.”

      More nonsense. It is VASTLY different than ObamaDoggle in that it IS actually insurance, and you pay for the coverage you want (if ANY) according to the risks you present. Also, you can’t get it for an “existing collision”, which is why ObamaDoggle is NOT insurance.

inspectorudy | April 6, 2017 at 2:11 pm

I don’t understand all the mixing of facts in my auto insurance system for health insurance. There have to be some similarities between them if coverage is to be extended to all. Of course, there has to be a pool for pre-existing conditions just like a pool for bad drivers. That would be a state function not the same for all 50 states. And no you would not have to have ANY insurance if you didn’t want any. However, all ER’s would only have to stop you from dying on the spot and no extensive surgery or complex treatment would be expected if you opted to forego insurance. There would be tax breaks for all who could use them and subsidies for the needy. The market would grow rapidly and the competition would be as great as that for auto insurance. I can just see Flo now hawking health insurance as well as auto/bike. There are differences and each state would have to decide what they wanted. Name one thing that the federal government does so well that you would rather have them do it than to do it for yourself? There is simply nothing that DC can come up with that will work in every state for every person. When you buy a pair of shoes would you expect to get a nice fitting pair if they came from the government? Of course not, so why expect them to offer you a good insurance policy?