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Archive for the ‘C – ACA – OBAMACARE NEWS’ Category

Mike Pence aims to dismiss ‘fear-mongering’ on healthcare

With opposition building to a major GOP plan to repeal Obamacare, Vice President Mike Pence said that the plan would create an “orderly transition” from the controversial healthcare law.
Pence spoke Saturday in Louisville, Ky., and gave a full-throated endorsement of the American Health Care Act, which guts Obamacare and partially replaces it. Pence’s comments come after a week in which conservatives have opposed the bill as a new entitlement.
Pence also sought to downplay whether anyone would lose insurance coverage under the bill, which has yet to get a score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on how it will affect coverage and federal spending.
“Despite some fear-mongering among those on the left, we are gonna work with Congress and work with Health and Human Services and we are gonna have an orderly transition to a better healthcare system,” Pence said. “We’re gonna make the best healthcare system in the world even better.”
Pence said that action is needed to end the “Obamacare nightmare.”
“Virtually every promise of Obamacare has been broken,” he said. “Medicaid here in Kentucky is threatening to bankrupt this state.”
Kentucky was one of the few red states to embrace Obamacare, creating its own state-run healthcare exchange and expanding Medicaid. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin ran to end the expansion, but has since left it intact after getting a waiver for changes from the federal government.
The Medicaid expansion is a major sticking point in the American Health Care Act. The bill keeps the expansion in place until 2020, at which time it replaces Medicaid with a per capita cap system that doles out federal spending based on the number of beneficiaries.
But conservatives in the House and Senate have opposed the long deadline and called for the expansion to end after this year. However, moderate GOP senators have clamored for a longer transition for the expansion, worried about coverage losses.

Summary of House Republicans’ Latest Obamacare Legislation


AUSTIN –The Texas Public Policy Foundation this evening released a summary of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Obamacare repeal and replace legislation. The detailed summary, by TPPF Senior Healthcare Analyst Chris Jacobs, explains how the bill falls short of making good on the promise to fully repeal Obamacare and fails to fundamentally change federal control over supply and demand of healthcare:

1 – This plan fails to repeal most of the costly mandates and insurance regulations driving up premiums and deductibles.
2 – This plan replaces Obamacare’s subsidy scheme with a new costly federal entitlement in the form of a refundable tax credit.
3 –This plan leaves significant portions of the flawed and costly Medicaid expansion intact by delaying the freeze on Medicaid enrollment, maintaining the expansion of the program to the able-bodied, and providing a pathway for non-expansion states to accept enhanced federal dollars. 

To read the full summary, please visit:
TPPF’s Center for Tenth Amendment Action Director Chip Roy stated:
“Congressional leadership had the opportunity to transform the American healthcare system to enable truly affordable healthcare for all Americans. While they took some positive steps such as sunsetting some of the expensive regulations (at a future date) and repealing the individual and employer mandates – the bill as drafted remains unworkable, expensive, Washington-centered and cannot become law.
“Rather than honoring their commitment to fully repeal Obamacare and instead of fully respecting the people and the states to make healthcare decisions, we are offered more of the same doomed-to-fail Washington-centric ‘solutions’ that have created the current healthcare crisis and which empower insurance companies and government over people and doctors.   “President Trump has the opportunity to pursue a better way, which starts with honoring the commitment to fully repeal this disastrous law and ends when people can get the affordable healthcare of their choice unencumbered by federal mandates.”
TPPF’s Center for Health Care Policy Dr. Deane Waldman said: “The problem with the GOP plan is that it ignores what is important in healthcare – care not insurance – and refuses to fix why healthcare is failing: federal government control.”   Last week, TPPF sent a letter to the Texas Congressional Delegation outlining key principles for renewing American healthcare. The principles are centered on the full repeal of Obamacare and restoring the Constitutional role of the states in regulating healthcare. To read the principles, please visit:
Chris Jacobs is Senior Healthcare Policy Analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Chip Roy is Director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Action at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Dr. Deane Waldman, MD, MBA, is Director of the Center for Health Care Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.
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This commentary originally appeared in CNS News on January 24, 2017.
Desperately seeking ammunition to defend their disastrous health care reform act, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and other Democratic Party leaders commissioned the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to report on the effects of repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The CBO played the part of Chicken Little and obediently calculated that 32 million Americans would lose their health insurance coverage at the same time as premium costs would rise, all due to repeal.

How can the CBO calculate the effects of repeal and replace when the plans for repeal and replace have not yet been announced? They can’t.

CBO Veracity

Before the ACA was passed, the CBO said the cost would be $900 billion over ten years. After passage, the cost estimate was revised upward more than 100 percent to $2.1 trillion. Is this what they call reliable accounting procedure?   In 1965, the CBO said Medicare would cost us $12 billion over 25 years. It actually cost 892 percent more than predicted ($107 billion.)   In 2014, President Obama proudly announced he had “saved Medicare as we know it.” He based his claim on a CBO Report that counted the money in the Medicare Trust Fund as having the money that was used over 13 years for the so-called “DocFix.” It is amazing how good your checking account would look if you said you had $700 billion that you had actually spent.
Only magically thinking liberals trust CBO predictions.

TEXASPOLICY – Read On for Rest of the Story>>>>>


This commentary originally appeared in The National Review on March 10, 2017.

As Washington people go around doing Washington things and talking to other Washington people about Washington focused health care reform, we would do well to take a step back to simplify the debate in front of us.
We are the most prosperous country in the history of the world. As such, we have many of the best hospitals, doctors, nurses, and medicines available. We have hundreds of insurers that take risk — for profit — to insure us. We have fairly broad, but expensive and not always effective, social safety nets in which we pool our resources through taxation in an effort to help those who need it.
But the truth is, we have a very badly broken health care system. We are losing doctors by the thousands. Health care  costs have been skyrocketing and insurance premiums are increasingly flatboat affordable. Insurance companies are no longer serving vast swaths of our country — leaving people with no choices and reduced access to care. Americans, in short, are no longer able to get the health care of their choosing from the doctor of their choosing at an affordable cost.
Very few people dispute these facts or the need to reform health care. So we now confront a choice between two paths – and when we make this choice, it is highly unlikely we will reach a similar fork in the road.
Path One is to do something different – to acknowledge the failures of Obamacare, which are massive, and then do a very UN-­Washington thing and honor commitments made to fully repeal it (which have been numerous), and actually roll back a federal mistake. Then, make a fresh start, with two simple steps. First, freeze Medicaid enrollment immediately and send Medicaid dollars to states with zero strings attached to allow them to innovate and be more effective. Second, increase portability and decrease costs through increased competition, by equalizing the tax treatment between employers and individuals.
If we choose this path, we will, in essence, be saying: Let competitive markets and the states clean up the mess Washington created. Drive down costs through unfettered competition, and increase the number of doctors competing for our business. Cost is the problem. Coverage will naturally increase if costs are lowered and will provide far better health care options for far more Americans.
Furthermore, we should give states maximum flexibility to create programs for the poor and those lacking access to care as well as to create innovations such as high ­risk pools and targeted health ­savings accounts for those without insurance. The benefit would extend beyond health care, to creating more unity in our country through federalism – allowing us to accommodate our differences.
Path Two would be business as ­usual, in which we listen to Washington insiders tell us how they are going to construct a health care system for us. That path is – essentially – what we were given this week by the House Republican leadership. That bill, as has been widely observed, is Obamacare 2.0 – in which the subsidies, regulations, and Medicaid expansion of Obamacare have been “replaced” with . . . subsidies, regulations, and Medicaid expansion.
In the words of the great Texan Hank Hill, the bill comes straight from “Rancho Unicorno.” The Republican leadership would like you to believe that they can maintain most of the Obamacare cost ­increasing mandates, as well as the massive tax payer ­funded subsidy scheme, and that this is not going to increase costs for consumers and taxpayers.
They would further have you believe that a three ­year delay in freezing Medicaid enrollment won’t cause a rush to enroll and drive up costs. That pushing able ­bodied people into Medicaid won’t clog up the system and dilute care. That continuing a contraception mandate doesn’t conflict with religious ­liberty principles and that continuing a flawed verification system won’t provide coverage for people here illegally. That continuing the same rob ­from Medicare budget gimmickry is somehow different from the practice they once decried.
These same Washington ­minded folks will come out and tell you, “but we can’t repeal all of Obamacare in the Senate.” This is simply false. The idea is that the un-elected parliamentarian of the Senate will rule that repealing Obamacare regulations in Obamacare cannot be done under the “reconciliation” process – i.e., with just 51 votes –because the regulations do not have a budget impact. But 51 senators can say she’s wrong, and they would be correct — because there is no doubt that the fruit of the poisonous tree, the regulations spawned by Obamacare’s passage (through the reconciliation process) do, in fact, have an impact on the budget. In English? The Senate has the power to fully repeal. It just needs to find the will.
The truth is that the Republican leadership simply does not want to repeal it all. They want to maintain the regulations while promising lower costs – which takes us back to the unicorns. And we don’t want unicorns; we want all Americans to get high­ quality, affordable health care.
As Americans, we can have the country of our choosing. Remember, “governments were instituted among men to secure [our inalienable] rights” of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Governments were not instituted among men to tell us what doctor we can have, how we should be insured, what should be covered, and what should not be covered, or to control any other aspect of health care, for that matter. And the Constitution reflects that truth: It leaves all powers not expressly enumerated to Washington in the hands of the people and the states.
Let states and the American people fix the mess Washington created. Let the laboratories of democracy work. Let free markets actually work. The solution to the health ­care problem begins with full, 100 percent repeal of Obamacare and ends with Americans getting affordable health care of their choosing without interference from Washington. Repeal and Respect.

Ryan atrying to fool the nation with his ACA replavement rhetoric

Tell me what the difference is: You get charged with a penalty if you do not buy health insurance; or you get a 30% late fee if and when you do buy?  This is what Ryan is trying to sell for changes to ACA!

Right targets Ryan — not Trump — on ObamaCare plan

President Trump has so far managed to avoid becoming a target for the conservative backlash to Speaker Paul Ryan’s ObamaCare repeal and replace plan, even as the White House vigorously whips support for the bill.
Ryan hasn’t been so lucky.
Breitbart News, which has long been one of Ryan’s most vocal foes, panned his American Health Care Act as “Speaker Ryan’s ObamaCare 2.0.”   Powerful conservative groups Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, whose leaders discussed the issue with Trump on Wednesday, have branded the bill as “RyanCare.” A FreedomWorks digital ad included a photoshopped image of former President Obama laughing with his arm around the Speaker.
And in an interview with Breitbart, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Ryan is working to deceive Trump about the bill, accusing the Speaker of “trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the president.”   Conservative media, outside groups and Tea Party lawmakers have been nearly unanimous in directing their anger at Ryan and GOP leadership, while crediting Trump with being open to helping them improve the bill and negotiate better terms — even as the White House puts its muscle behind the bill’s passage.
“What we’ve seen from President Trump in 49 days in office is that he’s working to keep the promises he made on the campaign trail, so I’m encouraged and optimistic about that,” said Tea Party Patriots president Jenny Beth Martin, who met with Trump on Wednesday.   “What concerns me is that we don’t trust the leadership in the House or the Senate to keep their promises.”   In an interview with The Hill, Martin said she’s grown tired of years of congressional leaders promising to repeal ObamaCare — if only they had the majorities to do so.

THE HILL – Read On For The Rest Of The Story>>>>>>>>

Obstacles ahead as GOP begins ObamaCare repeal

Republicans who have vowed for years to repeal and replace ObamaCare are now seeking to turn their campaign pledge into reality, with markups of legislation potentially beginning this week.   With narrow majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans won’t be able to pass healthcare legislation unless they remain united.
That could prove difficult, as there are several knotty issues raised by the repeal effort that threaten to push lawmakers into opposing camps.  Here are the four biggest issues that Republicans will have to resolve before an ObamaCare repeal bill can reach President Trump’s desk.Tax credits  One of the biggest sticking points for Republicans is how to provide tax credits to help people pay for health insurance.
While there is broad support in the GOP for providing assistance through the tax code, they are at odds over the details.  House Republican leaders are pushing for a refundable, advanceable tax credit — something conservatives have denounced as a new government entitlement.\ “I think there is still a significant divide within the conference on how you deal with refundable tax credits,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
“I think the refundable tax credit in its present form represents a new entitlement,” he said, adding that he would have “very, very strong reservations” about supporting a bill that included them.  Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has compared the refundable tax credits to the subsidies some people get under ObamaCare.  “The problem that I have with a new refundable tax credit is it’s essentially a subsidy by another name,” he said last month.
“ObamaCare had subsidies. If we call them refundable tax credits, have we really done anything other than change the name? So I think that’s a problem.”    THE HILL – Read On>>>>>


TheHill.comObstacles ahead as GOP begins ObamaCare repeal

Obstacles ahead as GOP begins ObamaCare repeal

Republicans who have vowed for years to “repeal and replace” ObamaCare are now seeking to turn their campaign pledge into reality, with markups of legislation potentially beginning this week.
With narrow majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans won’t be able to pass healthcare legislation unless they remain united.   That could prove difficult, as there are several knotty issues raised by the repeal effort that threaten to push lawmakers into opposing camps.
Read the full story here

Top House conservatives won’t back draft ObamaCare replacement

Top House conservatives won’t back draft ObamaCare replacement

The chairman of the influential Republican Study Committee said Monday he would vote against a draft ObamaCare replacement bill that leaked last week.   Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), head of the 172-member committee, said Monday his opposition stems from the draft bill’s use of refundable tax credits.
“There are serious problems with what appears to be our current path to repeal and replace Obamacare. The draft legislation, which was leaked last week, risks continuing major Obamacare entitlement expansions and delays any reforms,” Walker said in a statement Monday.   “It kicks the can down the road in the hope that a future Congress will have the political will and fiscal discipline to reduce spending that this Congress apparently lacks. Worse still,” Walker continued, “the bill contains what increasingly appears to be a new health insurance entitlement with a Republican stamp on it.”  He later told reporters the committee would have a hard time getting behind the draft as written.
“Provide us with more information. We’re willing to engage, but where it sits right now, off this leaked plan … as it stands right now, our members would have a tough time getting there,” he said.   Walker said he could not “in good conscience” recommend Study Committee members vote for the draft.   Walker became the second top Republican to come out against the draft bill Monday. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chair of the conservative Freedom Caucus, also said he would vote against the measure as drafted.
 He first voiced his opposition to the tax credits, which he called an “entitlement program.”   the hill -Read On >>>>>

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