Tag Archives: The Politics of Healthcare Insurance

The Senate Healthcare Bill would hurt MORE people than the House one…Open Thread for June 15, 2017

Media reports on the Senate stealth healthcare bill write up points to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doing about the same thing as Speaker Ryan….

Crafting a bill that will hurt millions of Americans JUST to be able to say their party did SOMETHING….

Any change to the Affordable Healthcare Law, slang named Obamacare is viewed as INCREASING UN POPULAR to the American public ACROSS the board….

Why?

Congressional Republicans and President Trump seem hell-bent on pushing through a bill to replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. “Duh,” you say, “the Republicans have been promising to repeal Obamacare since literallythe day it was passed.”

But here’s where things get interesting. We tend to assume political parties want to get their policy goals adopted, but also to stay in power. Republicans won control of Congress in 2010 in part because Democrats pushed through a health care bill that the plurality of voters did not approve of, according to several major polls from that time. The Republicans are doing the same thing now, only their health care bill is significantly more unpopular than the ACA was in 2010.

So why are Republicans so determined to pass a bill that they already seem to know is not popular and could hurt them in next year’s elections? It’s almost impossible to determine exactly what drives a politician’s actions, particularly because sometimes the reasons they give publicly are not their only or primary motives. So while we can’t prove anything, we can still identify four likely reasons that Republicans are pushing so hard on health care….

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Trump just mentioned that he thought the House Bill was ‘mean’……

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The latest: Even though Republicans had raised expectations that they were finishing a draft bill, it turns out that GOP leaders actually submitted multiple policy options to the budget office — partly explaining why senators won’t say much about their bill, let alone release a draft of it.

Both the bill and its CBO score will be public eventually, and there’s nothing inherently scandalous about trying to run the traps on a piece of legislation before bringing it to the floor.

The problem: What happens next? How long will the bill be publicly available before a vote? Will policy experts have time to digest it, and will voters have time to process that analysis? Will there be a real, good-faith opportunity for senators to offer amendments? GOP leaders have already short-circuited an awful lot of the process by not holding hearings or committee markups.

Working with CBO now will likely help Senate Republicans avoid the kind of bad-news bombshells the House experienced — but it’s making that July 4 timetable look less and less realistic.

Who could lose from state health benefit limits

Data: CAP analysis, 2015 American Community Survey, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2017 Willis Towers Watson Survey; Table: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The Senate health care bill is expected to allow states to relax the Affordable Care Act rules only on benefits, not on pricing as the House bill does. But that change could impact people far beyond those states, according to a new analysis by the liberal Center for American Progress — because it could lead to a return of annual and lifetime benefit limits, and not just in the states with the waivers….

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Trump undercuts his parties House Repeal Bill as ‘mean’…..

It’s Trump World folks…..

After the guy pled’s with House Republicans to make his campaign promise to ‘Repeal’ Obamacare?

Image result for Trump/Ryan Healthcare

He turns around and complains that the House bill is mean?

Or?

Is this a Trump attempt to make a ‘deal ‘ to get Republicans in Congress to fall behind  a ‘more generous’ Senate Bill?

Trump made the comment to Republican Senators….No House members where in the room…

President Trump told Republican senators Tuesday that the House-passed healthcare bill he helped revive is “mean,” and urged them to craft a version that is “more generous,” congressional sources said.

Trump’s remarks were a surprising slap at a Republican-written House measure that was shepherded by Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and that the president lobbied for and praised. At a Rose Garden ceremony minutes after the bill’s narrow House passage on May 4, Trump called it “a great plan.”

The president’s criticism, at a White House lunch with 15 GOP senators, also came as Senate Republican leaders’ attempts to write their own healthcare package have been slowed by disagreements between their party’s conservatives and moderates.

Trump’s characterizations seemed to undercut attempts by Senate leaders to assuage conservatives who want restrictions in their chamber’s bill, such as cutting the Medicaid healthcare program for the poor and limiting the services insurers must cover. Moderate GOP senators have been pushing to ease those restrictions.

Facing expected unanimous Democratic opposition, Republicans will be unable to pass a Senate bill if just three of the 52 GOP senators vote no. Alienating any of them could make approving the measure trickier for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who’s been hoping for a vote before Congress’ July 4 recess…..

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image…vanityfair.com

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Healthcare Update…The Senate will try its thing…IF it doesn’t work?…All this for Nothing?…

It is increasingly looking like there will be NOTHING done to ‘fix or reform ‘ the Affordable Healthcare Law program, also known as Obamacare…

After years of complaining about the law, and vowing to throw it out?

Republicans are NOW stuck with it and everybody is watching….

Senate Republicans are supposed to get their first look at some detailed options for a health care bill today, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushes for a vote before the July 4 recess. The Wall Street Journal reports that some are hoping to get legislation to the Congressional Budget Office by the end of the week.

The odds: Not good. But at this point, some Republicans are ready to just take the vote and be done with it, even if it fails. “It’s like a root canal,” one Senate GOP aide told Caitlin Owens. “Best to get it over with and move on to things Republicans are good at.”

What to watch: As we reported in yesterday’s Vitals, aides are expected to give senators some options today on a handful of major sticking points, with a discussion of the tradeoffs for each one.

Yes, but: Choosing among those options won’t necessarily be easy — the caucus still hasn’t coalesced around an approach to Medicaid, an approach to premium subsidies, or even the scope of their bill. Some senators are still hoping to refocus for now on a smaller measure to stabilize state insurance markets, buying them more time to work on a broader set of changes.

Trump factor: Don’t forget that President Trump is sure to put more pressure on McConnell this afternoon at a WH meeting with Senate and House GOP leaders, right after the Senate Republican meetings….

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A Healthcare Repeal is not gonna happen this year…Open Thread for June 2, 2017

The above conclusion is from Richard Burr , a Republican Senator from North Carolina……

Those of us who look under the covers at stuff like this KNEW that the blowback from across America to deprive ten’s of millions of American ‘s of their healthcare insurance coverage by House Republicans to make Donald Trump happy was not a smart political move….

One would doubt a strong effort would be mounted next year by Republicans either with Midterm elections  coming up.and people made enough to crash Republican lawmakers town hall get together’s…

The Republicans now own Barack Obama ‘s healthcare hot potato ….

And after all these years?

They find themselves unable to deal with getting rid of it…

This is an issue that Democrats SHOULD be making sure to run on from now on….

Reminding America who is Actually fighting for those who are in need of their government looking out for them….

…twitter….

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3 Republican Senators expressing doubt in past week on getting health care done anytime soon: BURR / JOHNSON / SASSE

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California State Senate passes a Single-payer healthcare plan bill…

The bill will go nowhere…..

There is no way to pay for it’s 400 Bill ion dollar tab….

And the Fed’s would have to sign off on it….

But it’s out there…

A proposal to adopt a single-payer healthcare system for California took an initial step forward Thursday when the state Senate approved a bare-bones bill that lacks a method for paying the $400-billion cost of the plan.

The proposal was made by legislators led by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) at the same time President Trump and Republican members of Congress are working to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act.

“Despite the incredible progress California has made, millions still do not have access to health insurance and millions more cannot afford the high deductibles and co-pays, and they often forgo care,” Lara said during a floor debate on the bill.

The bill, which now goes to the state Assembly for consideration, will have to be further developed, Lara conceded, adding he hopes to reach a consensus on a way to pay for it…

Lara’s bill would provide a Medicare-for-all-type system that he believed would guarantee health coverage for all Californians without the out-of-pocket costs. Under a single-payer plan, the government replaces private insurance companies, paying doctors and hospitals for healthcare….

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The Senate is in No Rush on their Obamacare rewrite bill….

Meaning that the Affordable Healthcare Law will continue in effect and the political ‘hot potato’ will be left on the side for a long while…

The Senate GOP’s progress on Obamacare repeal has been hard to decipher so far, with lots of public assurances that negotiations are continuing but few tangible results.

The process, which Republicans claim began even before the House passed its repeal bill, has been notable for what it’s been missing. It’s unclear, publicly at least, who is leading the effort, the direction they’re taking and whether there’s even agreement on how far the Senate will stray from the deeply unpopular House proposal, which guts Medicaid while scaling back the Affordable Care Act’s widely-liked consumer protections.

The Senate GOP’s 13-member working group initially unveiled to iron out an approach that could bring 51 votes was quickly met with ugly headlines about the lack of women, while rival groups have popped up among the members left out of the original task force. GOP leaders have since stressed that all Republicans are invited to participate in the talks, which happen twice or thrice weekly in Capitol, behind closed doors.

In the meantime, trial balloon after trial balloon has been floated with anonymous leaks, only to be immediately popped by other Republicans, who sometimes are only hearing of alleged proposals directly from the press….

While GOP Senators swear their not adhering to any specific timetable, some deadlines do in fact exist. To stay on track to pass both Obamacare repeal and tax cut legislation this year, the Senate will likely need to wrap up their health care talks this summer. More pressing, however, is insurers’ filing deadlines for their 2018 plans. Insurers would like to see more certainty on what the marketplace will look like, including what will happen to key ACA subsidies Republicans have previously attacked….

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Trump budget plan would be to cut Medicaid and give the program to the states…

According to the Washington Post Trump ‘s budget proposal for the 2018 budget will look for deep cuts to the Medicaid program….

There is virtually NO Chance such cuts amounting to up to $800 Billion will make it thru the Senate version of the budget that they are working on…

But Trump’s push is in line with the House Repeal language….

Medicaid cuts don’t sit well even with Republicans governors and some Red state lawmakers who actually want to expand the program….

“President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits… despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net,” the Washington Post reports.

“For Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care to low-income Americans, Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade.”

“The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs, people familiar with the budget plan said, potentially leading to a flood of changes in states led by conservative governors.”

Politicalwire….

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The Senate is working on EXPANDING Medicaid…And NOT Following the House…

While House Republicans passing up a bill that will go nowhere with it’s cuts and ‘Repeal’ tag attached to Obamacare….

The Senate is working to ADJUST the Affordable Healthcare Law….

They have got the message from American’s who do NOT want the Houses’s drastic cuts to their healthcare coverage…

Senate negotiators, meeting stiff resistance to the House’s plans to sharply reduce the scope and reach of Medicaid, are discussing a compromise that would maintain the program’s expansion under the Affordable Care Act but subject that larger version of Medicaid to new spending limits.

With 62 senators, including 20 Republicans, coming from states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the House’s American Health Care Act almost certainly cannot pass the Senate. The House bill could leave millions of Medicaid beneficiaries without health coverage, but in a House debate focused more on pre-existing medical conditions and tax cuts, the sweeping Medicaid changes received little attention.

Those changes would, for the first time, put Medicaid on a budget, limiting federal payments to states for care provided to tens of millions of low-income people — not just those who gained Medicaid coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but also children, people with disabilities and nursing home residents who have been eligible for decades under the law that created Medicaid in 1965. The House bill would cut expected Medicaid spending by more than $800 billion over 10 years, according to the most recent estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

A bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act has been “leveraged, by a sleight of hand, into reform of the entire Medicaid program,” said Greg Moody, director of the Office of Health Transformation in Ohio, run by the state’s Republican governor, John R. Kasich.

States could face tough choices because Medicaid spending per beneficiary is expected to increase faster than the limits in the House bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office and an independent commission that advises Congress on Medicaid policy. State governments could cut services, limit beneficiaries or take on more of the funding responsibility.

“We have a hard time seeing this as anything more than a budget fix for the federal government,” said Leslie M. Clement, director of health policy and analytics at the Oregon Health Authority, which runs the state Medicaid program. “It’s a cost shift to Oregon and other states.”

As senators begin what is likely to be weeks of negotiations, Republican leaders have made it clear that the legislation that ultimately emerges will look very different from the bill that narrowly cleared the House….

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Senator Ted Cruz is working on the Senate GOP Healthcare write-up…

A lot of people do NOT know this…

The question is?

Which Ted Cruz is doing this?

Could  he dial down some of right-thinking to get a Senate Bill that has a chance of getting enough votes for passage?..

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has developed a reputation as a firebrand. Cruz has made refusal to compromise a trademark of his career in Congress and has often had strong words for fellow Republicans who disagreed with him on strategy. Now a new behind-the-scenes report by the Wall Street Journal reports that Cruz may be turning over a new leaf.

The Journal reports that Cruz began working quietly with moderate Republicans to find a consensus on health care reform that has a realistic chance of becoming law. Cruz was instrumental in forming a working group of 13 Senators that had its origin in a February steak dinner with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). The group includes Republicans concerned about the effect of an outright repeal of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and pre-existing conditions rules such as Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Cory Gardner (R-Col.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Cruz has reportedly been working with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mike Meadows (R-N.C.) for the past month.

Senators on both sides of the aisle expressed surprise at Cruz’s new strategy. “It’s a ‘you live long enough, anything can happen’ moment,” said Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

“It would be a first for Sen. Cruz,” noted Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)….

More @ Erick Erickerson’s Resurgent….

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Trump/Ryancare House Bill has only 21% support among Americans…Poll

And the Republican House lawmakers that voted to pass it have been taking political beatdown’s ever since they cast their votes….

The support for the current healthcare bill continues to rise and a majority of Americans DO NOT like how Trump is handling the healthcare insurance issue…

The Republicans are driving this issue AGAINST THEMSELVES...

Only 21 percent of American voters approve of the Republican health care plan passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week, a slight improvement over the 17 percent who approved of the first health care plan in March, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Overall, the current health plan goes down 56 – 21 percent.

Except for an anemic 48 – 16 percent support among Republicans, every listed party, gender, educational, age and racial group opposes the plan, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.

Under the new plan, their health insurance costs will go up, 42 percent of voters say, while 11 percent say they will go down and 37 percent say insurance costs will stay the same.

American voters approve 64 – 32 percent of the current law which prevents health insurance companies from raising premiums on people with pre-existing conditions.

Voters say 75 – 21 percent, including 59 – 34 percent among Republicans, that it’s a “bad idea” to give states the ability to allow health insurance companies to raise rates on people with pre-existing conditions.

A total of 96 percent of voters say it’s “very important” or “somewhat important” that health insurance be affordable for all Americans.

American voters disapprove 66 – 28 percent of the way President Donald Trump is handling health care….

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Was the healthcare repeal vote just about a tax cut for the rich?

A focus on what would happen if the House  and Senate give Trump and Paul Ryan a healthcare bill repeal….

A LOT of people WOULD be cut out of healthcare insurance while rich people would pay less for it….

….EILEEN Z. FUENTES @ The NY Daily News…

While President Trump celebrated with GOP lawmakers at the White House after the House passed the Republican-backed health care bill, I could not help but feel a profound sense of disgust, anxiety and anger.

Here were a bunch of mostly men who have access to the best health care in the world reveling and rejoicing at the fact they were one step closer to denying that very same access to millions of people. If the American Health Care Act, aka Trumpcare, is enacted, the death, despair and decimation that will result are almost incalculable.

For me this is more than academic. At 34 years old, I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, which is considered to be one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. There I was a mother of three very young girls having to cope with this most devastating diagnosis. Complications ensued and there was a close call with the hereafter when doctors found a blood clot in my heart.

Thankfully, this year I will be celebrating 9 years cancer-free. I am also fortunate enough to have private insurance provided by my employer. It was that arduous cancer journey that led me to dedicate my life to helping other women battling the scourge of cancer. As a patient navigator at the Columbia University Medical Center I am on the frontlines everyday helping to navigate the care of breast and gynecologic oncology patients. It is not a job — it is a calling.

It is also not easy. This bill will make it impossible. I do the Lord’s work in the proud and working class community of Washington Heights, which has the highest concentration of immigrants in all of New York City. This tax cut for the rich disguised as a health care bill will wreak utter destruction on this community, especially those battling with cancer and other grave illnesses. Not only do they have the burden of a chronic, potentially life-threatening disease, they also struggle with being priced out of their neighborhood due to gentrification and accessing the already limited resources as a result of it.

Since Election Day, there has been a massive spike in anxious phone calls from my patients and their caregivers. They watch the news non-stop in fear that their cancer treatment will be halted midway because Donald Trump and Paul Ryan have made the repealing and replacing of Obamacare their number one priority…..

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Note….

This Dog believes the vote was about making Donald Trump happy he could at least get a vote ON the campaign promise…

That’s ALL….

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Listing of how many will lose their Healthcare coverage by GOP Repeal House vote…

These GOP House members just voted to put a BIG Political BULLS EYE on their backs…

…from TPM….

It was a big day yesterday. Against the expectations of many, House Republicans were able to come back from a demoralizing defeat in March and pass a slightly revised version of their “American Health Care Act.” That is to say, repeal Obamcare and replace it with Trumpcare. After passing it with 217 votes, they partied, bigly.  Here’s a collection of photographs of the good times, annotated with the number of people who will lose their health care coverage in each representative’s district.

Click the “read more” link to see the full story where the photos are large enough to easily read the annotations.

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Cook Report changes 20 House race ratings after Healthcare Repeal law vote…

In the House districts that Republicans hold, but voted for Hillary Clinton?

The Healthcare vote as has been mentioned could hurt those Republicans 18 months from now in the 2018 Midterm elections…

The Healthcare plan has only become MORE popular with every mention of it being repealed…

The vote yesterday will probably boost it’s polling numbers…

Senate members have indicated they are in NO hurry on this….And their repeal bill will most probably be a LOT different than the House’s forcing the issue to come back against House members again (in the summer or fall) , who didn’t even see what they where voting on…

Already some are expressing misgivings about what they voted on…

They should be…

Democrats are already raising money and setting protest’s in motion against them…

Republicans’ 217-213 passage of the American Health Care Act on Thursday guarantees Democrats will have at least one major on-the-record vote to exploit in the next elections. Although it’s the first of potentially many explosive votes, House Republicans’ willingness to spend political capital on a proposal that garnered the support of just 17 percent of the public in a March Quinnipiac poll is consistent with past scenarios that have generated a midterm wave.

Not only did dozens of Republicans in marginal districts just hitch their names to an unpopular piece of legislation, Democrats just received another valuable candidate recruitment tool. In fact, Democrats aren’t so much recruiting candidates as they are overwhelmed by a deluge of eager newcomers, including doctors and veterans in traditionally red seats who have no political record for the GOP to attack – almost a mirror image of 2010.

Of the 23 Republicans sitting in districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, 14 voted for the repeal and replace measure. For these Republicans, time is still on their side and healthcare reform can’t be disposed of soon enough. There are still 18 months before the 2018 election, whereas House Democrats eked out final passage of the ACA less than eight months before the 2010 midterms. These Republicans can’t afford a year-long Senate slog….

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Conservative Club for Growth wants to push moderate GOPer’s to approve Trump/Ryancare…

Sounds kinda like a waste of money to me….

Moderate Republicans right now are in their home districts getting an earful from their OWN voters screaming to NOT Repeal their healthcare….

The Club for Growth ain’t gonna supply any votes….

They may threaten with ads to fo after some people…

But moderate GOP lawmakers can hear and read…..

And Repealing Obamacare to make Trump happy isn’t gonna assure them a job next November….

The conservative Club for Growth said Monday that it is targeting 10 moderate House Republicans with a $1 million ad campaign, offering a glimpse into the right’s strategy for pushing through a GOP health-care overhaul.

The ads, set to begin Tuesday, come at the beginning of a two-week congressional recess — and after the latest bid to reconcile warring GOP lawmakers and resurrect the American Health Care Act fell short last week.

But the Club for Growth sees a path to the bill’s passage: convincing more moderate — or less stridently conservative — Republicans to swallow a proposal favored by the House Freedom Caucus that would allow states to seek waivers of several Affordable Care Act insurance mandates. Those mandates form the core of the ACA’s protections allowing Americans with preexisting medical conditions to buy affordable insurance plans, and numerous lawmakers have balked at the request.

The Club for Growth is betting that the bill could find its way to passage if the mandate waivers win over the vast majority of the Freedom Caucus’s roughly three dozen members, and if other House Republicans who had announced plans to vote for an earlier version of the bill don’t withdraw their support as a result….

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The Republican embrace of Obamacare….

One of the best things about the program seems to be the SERIOUS Trump/Ryan efforts to Repeal it….

As the spot light turned on the idea that the program used by tens of millions of Americans COULD go away?

People went to the streets, the media went on high alert and those on the right across the country who voted FOR Donald Trump went to town hall meeting and told their lawmakers NOT to cancel their healthcare coverage….

All of this has united different groups of Americans to move the approval numbers in the polls to a slim Majority of Americans AGAINST a Repeal and a growing number of their lawmakers and Governors looking to keep most the Affordable Healthcare program in tact….

The politics of Obamacare have changed….

The House’s debate over repealing ObamaCare has had an unintended effect: Republicans are now defending key elements of President Obama’s health law.

Many House Republicans are now defending ObamaCare’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, in the face of an effort by the conservative House Freedom Caucus to repeal them.

Some Republican lawmakers are also speaking out in favor of ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid and its mandates that insurance plans cover services like mental health and prescription drugs.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the GOP’s chief deputy whip, said Wednesday that Freedom Caucus calls for states to be able to apply for waivers to repeal pre-existing condition protections are “a bridge too far for our members.”

Those ObamaCare protections include what is known as community rating, which prevents insurers from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions, and guaranteed issue, which prevents insurers from outright denying coverage to them.

McHenry spoke in personal terms about the importance of keeping in place those Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions, contained in Title I of the law.

“If you look at the key provisions of Title I, it affects a cross section of our conference based off of their experience and the stories they know from their constituents and their understanding of policy,” McHenry said.

“My family history is really bad and so my understanding of the impact of insurance regs are real and I believe I’m a conservative, so I look at this, understand the impact of regulation, but also the impact of really bad practices in the insurance marketplace prior to the ACA passing,” he continued. “There are a lot of provisions that I’ve campaigned on for four election cycles that are part of the law now that I want to preserve.”……

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Trump and Ryan could lose Trumpcare battle—and still destroy Obamacare

 By Egberto Willies   @  Daily Kos

The Trumpcare bill, which seeks to replace the Affordable Care Act, seems to be hanging by a thread. Public opinion polls now show Obamacare above water and Trumpcare under water. Gambling types would surely bet that the bill—in just about every form—will fail. But that would be nothing more than a short-term gain, and it is important that progressives understand that—right now.

Rejoicing in this likely upcoming win is a fool’s errand. Why? Because for many Americans, specifically those who are not on Medicaid, Obamacare is a financial strain. I am self-employed, and I’m paying about $1,200 a month with a family deductible of $12,000. My plan is an HMO. But in past years a program like this would be considered a “catastrophic” plan. I would have to spend $26,400 before the insurance kicks in. To be fair, the doctor fees are an affordable $40.00 to $100.00, and labs and medicine are discounted.

I understand these costs intellectually, in the context of the corrupt health care system that we have. I understand that the drug companies, the hospitals, and the insurance companies are businesses with shareholders. They all want to show growth, regardless of whether they provide more value or services. That growth consists of an unwarranted increase in health care costs across the board.

University of Houston professor Seth Chandler wrote a piece titled “Republican Stalemate Will Test Whether Obamacare Is Indeed Collapsing” that pointed out a reality about Obamacare. He predicts that we are headed for a stalemate—and progressives should not consider that a win….

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