After repeal, what’s next for healthcare?

Republicans in Congress may have voted overwhelmingly last week to start the ball rolling on Obamacare repeal, but larger-scale disagreements have not gone away. On the contrary, President-elect Trump’s recent pledges to ensure “insurance for everybody” have introduced a new wild card into an already difficult debate.

Some in the Senate seem to be backing away from HHS secretary nominee and House Budget Chairman Tom Price’s replacement plan, with Senators Hatch (R-UT) and Corker (R-TN) suggesting that the lengthy plan may not be the “starting point” for negotiations, especially with Trump’s pledges. House Members, many of whom worked with Chairman Price as he worked to develop healthcare alternatives as part of the Republican Better Way plan, have suggested more willingness to start from his plan.

Meanwhile, Senator Rand Paul on Monday began releasing details for his own alternative plan, which he has suggested the President-elect supports, but many in the Senate would prefer the new administration explore using executive orders to chip away at key portions of the law before beginning work on larger alternatives. And Senator Cassidy (R-LA) has suggested allowing blue states to keep Obamacare provisions if they would like.

What happens next?

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Did we just repeal Obamacare?

You’ll be hearing a lot in the upcoming days about this afternoon’s votes, and there is a lot of misinformation flying around on all sides. Below, check out an update from Coalition to Reduce Spending President Jonathan Bydlak that explains just a little of what happened.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates as they occur!

 

Dear Friend:

You might have heard Congress took a few votes today.

To listen to the mainstream media and many Democrats, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Affordable Care Act is gone for good.

If only things were so easy.

We’ve already told you about the fight among Republicans over just how to get rid of the massively expensive and failing program that has caused millions (including me!) to lose their insurance.

And now, the House has just voted to move forward with a budget resolution that never balances and proposes adding trillions to the debt.

While we share the goal of ending Obamacare, we’re profoundly disappointed that the best a Republican Congress could come up with is this particular budget — especially since several who voted for this bill had pledged not to support budgets that do not balance.

We must now push forward to ensure that repeal happens, that replacement options are free-market, and that spending does not balloon under this budget.

You see, despite what alarmist headlines might proclaim, nothing’s getting ripped away tonight. Instead, Congress has started the process to use a procedure called reconciliation to pass a repeal of Obamacare. Then, they will work to find agreement on a replacement (or series of replacements).

This plan is imperfect, provides a roadmap for massive spending, and will absolutely include replacements — many of which are unlikely to please fiscal conservatives. Nevertheless, I expect to hear a lot more of the lie that government health insurance just got ripped away without a safety net today.

This should serve as a harsh reminder of what we’re up against.

Obamacare has failed.

People are hurting.

And while we are disappointed to see the big-spending budget by which they accomplished it, we’re thrilled to see repeal moving forward so that the nation’s most vulnerable get the chance to have real care and options.

It won’t be easy. Our opponents in this fight are not afraid to twist the truth or to blame the system’s inevitable failures on those who are trying to make things better.

So buckle up and get ready to fight back.

Let’s get started.


Jonathan Bydlak
President

PS: Cutting through the noise and presenting clear information to the American people is more important now than ever. I hope I can count on you to stand with us in this battle to repeal Obamacare once and for all.

Sen. Flake releases wastebook: PORKémon Go

Today, Sen. Jeff Flake released his second annual report, Wastebook: PORKémon Go, tracking 50 different examples of ridiculous waste, accounting for $5 billion in wasted taxpayer money. Examples include:

Read the full report here.

Sadly, $5 billion is just a drop in the bucket of the country’s overall fiscal dysfunction. Reports like these remind us just how much work lies ahead, and how important it is that no waste, from the largest programs to the tiniest dysfunction, be off the table for cuts.

GOP Repeal Unrest Grows

Amid the drama of this week’s confirmation hearings, a growing fight among GOP ranks is already coming to a head as Members face off over just how to repeal the President’s signature healthcare law and how much to prioritize spending and debt.

On Monday, five Republican Senators submitted an amendment to the bill that had passed last week and would use budget reconciliation to repeal the ACA, amid growing concerns over a lack of a viable replacement plan. The amendment, from Bob Corker (R-TN), Rob Portman (R-OH) Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), would extend the deadline for reconciliation instructions — that is, replacement details — from January 27 to March 3.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has previously insisted that no repeal be passed without a replacement plan, and President-elect Trump seems to agree.

There remains no clear answer on whether Republicans will look to find a replacement plan first, or vote to repeal and then push forward on replacement.

Meanwhile, the main vehicle for repeal continues to be budget reconciliation. Last week, Senator Paul submitted an alternate budget resolution, which would balance in 5 years — it failed 14-83 — as he continued to needle fellow Republicans for submitting a plan that would add $8 trillion to the deficit over the next decade. While budget resolutions are non-binding, FreedomWorks’ Jason Pye accurately points out that such a message is an unsettling signal to fiscal conservatives heading into the new administration. The fact that an alternate plan garnered so few votes in support continues the unease.

Ultimately, rolling back such a massive system as Obamacare is going to be tedious and difficult, and it is encouraging to see a plan for moving forward via reconciliation, but fiscal conservatives should also insist upon workable plans for righting the ship that is America’s terribly broken healthcare system, as soon as possible.

We realize how difficult this process is, and that a majority does not necessarily equal uniformity or an easy path forward on such significant changes, but at the very least, actions taken should be fiscally conservative.

This isn’t a hard concept. For a party that sounded the alarm endlessly and accurately for eight years about President Obama’s profligate spending, there is little excuse for a poorly thought-out plan for how their most prominent policy goals will affect spending and debt. Yes, we realize budget resolutions are non-binding, but a shrug at $8 trillion is not acceptable.

What’s more, fiscal conservatives both in and outside of Congress should buckle up and prepare for a long and tough fight. As the healthcare bureaucracy continues to struggle and the country’s most vulnerable people continue to suffer under lagging care, anyone who votes to reform the system can expect to have political opponents or even mainstream media point the finger straight at them.

Blinking in the face of what is sure to be unprecedented political pressure, and opting to entrench the system’s failures instead, would be the worst possible mistake. We should be prepared to fight not only political battles but the battle of ideas, as we insist our Representatives continue to fight for real solutions, not more of the same.

Repeal and replace? Update on the future of American healthcare

“He said he was in complete agreement with that.” That was Senator Rand Paul commenting on Trump’s newfound support for a simultaneous repeal and replace of Obamacare.

Last Friday, President-Elect Trump came out in suppport of Paul’s alternative to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to pass a repeal of the ACA before settling on the specifics of any replacement.

Speculation has begun as to what may be included in a possible replacement plan; Politico reports:

Paul’s bill will be something of a “greatest hits” of Republican proposals. He is aiming to allow for more inexpensive insurance plans to get buy-in from young people (which would likely have higher deductibles), making Health Savings Accounts cover more services like diet and exercise and allow groups of small businesses to establish health insurance associations.

While we may lack specific estimates for how much tax payer dollars these alterations to the current health care system may save, their aim to expand consumers’ options must excite champions of individual choice. Read the full article here.

 

 


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