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Trump Health Insurance Tag

Thursday, the Senate Budget Committee released a revamped version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, or the Senate's version of the AHCA. The Senate GOP's first attempt (in this round of discussions) at the BCRA was met with mehs and groans across the caucus. A small contingent of conservative Senators opposed the bill saying it did little to repeal Obamacare. More moderate Republicans expressed concern over the bill's promise to eventually cut Medicaid. And others advocated for scrapping the whole bill for a clean Obamacare repeal.

Republicans have gained historic electoral wins across the board in the past eight years, and one of the driving issues behind these victories has been their repeated promise to repeal ObamaCare. In case anyone's forgotten, the initial outcry from voters was first to reject and then, once it was passed in the middle of the night, to repeal ObamaCare. It was the Democrats who started the "what will you replace it with?" narrative.  Suddenly, the mantra became "repeal and replace," but the American public didn't want ObamaCare.  On principle.  And we didn't want it "replaced" with some other central planning disaster. And we still don't.

Thursday, Senate Republicans released their long-anticipated health care reform bill. We discussed highlights of the legislation here. It's worth reiterating that this bill is only the first step (so we're told) in repealing and replacing Obamacare. The Senate GOP bill is limited in what it can accomplish for one reason — reconciliation. Senate Republicans are relying on the budget reconciliation mechanism to pass their first health care overhaul with a simple majority vote. Reaction on the right has been mixed. Some are calling it one of the Republican's greatest policy achievements and others are less than thrilled about kicking the Medicaid can down the road.

Aetna, one of the nation's largest health insurers announced Wednesday it would completely withdraw from Obamacare marketplaces in 2018. Nebraska, Delaware, Virginia, and Iowa are the only Obamacare exchanges where Aetna currently participates. A month ago Aetna announced plans to leave the Iowa market, followed by yet another announcement of a Virginia marketplace exit. With Aetna's withdrawal, Delawareans and Nebraskans will be left with one insurer on the exchange.

The House voted to repeal Obamacare Thursday afternoon. And by a slim vote -- 217 to 213, the American Healthcare Act passed. Prior to the final tally being read aloud, some legislatures began singing:

Though Obamacare was designed to force the American health insurance system into a single payer model, the free market has found a workaround. A growing number of practices are working directly with uninsured patients or with patients forgoing insurance benefits for a better price tag. Health insurance premium hikes, ridiculously high deductibles, and scant coverage make for-profit specialist shops all the more attractive.

Just how badly did the GOP's first attempt at repealing Obamacare fail, and what are your thoughts on buttercream frosting? Sunday I joined the Matthias Shapiro (one of my very first politifriends) and Jordan Ecarma of CRC Media on their Paradox podcast where we tackled terrible opinions, the AHCA flop, and talked more about fondant vs. buttercream than you'll probably want to hear.

Was the end goal of Obamacare to create the expectation of universal health coverage? Charles Krauthammer thinks so:
On Friday's edition of 'Special Report' on Fox News Channel, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer made the case that President Obama's strategy for Obamacare was not to create a perfect health care system, but to create the expectation that health care is something the government is responsible for. He said Obama had been successful at "creating the expectation of universal care" and that as a result "the zeitgeist of the country has really changed."...

Should conservatives be rooting for the health care bill to pass the House today, or be defeated or withdrawn? Joe Scarborough made an interesting observation today, quoting the late Senator Paul Simon at the end of his career on the biggest lesson he had learned: "sometimes when you win, you lose. And sometimes when you lose, you win." Scarborough pointed to the way Democrats whooped it up when they "won" on Obamacare in 2010 . . . and proceeded to experience six years of political "hell," losing 1,000 seats across the country. Opined Scarborough, "I think the best thing that could happen is this bill goes down today. Actually, that they pull it. Let them start renegotiating from the very beginning, do it the right way and move on to tax reform, something that will unite all conservatives.
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