GOP Healthcare Failure: What Do We Do as ObamaCare Collapses?
By Neil A. Carousso
When the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was pulled from the House vote on Friday, it signaled failure for a Republican Party that campaigned on “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Health Care Act for over seven years, but perhaps, it was for the best.
Premiums have risen by double digits in 31 states including a 116 percent increase in Arizona. One out of every three U.S. counties have just one insurer to choose from as a result of ObamaCare that was signed into law in March 2010 without one Republican vote. Six of 39 cancer drugs on the market in 2010 doubled or tripled in price by 2016, one quadrupled in price and another had an eightfold price increase.
On top of these statistics, millions of Americans were thrown off their insurance plans and lost their doctors despite what was promised by former President Barack Obama.
Seven years ago, the Congressional Budget Office projected 23 million Americans would be enrolled in ObamaCare Exchange enrollments in 2017. The reality is only 12.2 million people are enrolled on the ObamaCare Exchanges. The CBO predicted that 14 million fewer people would have health insurance by 2018 if the AHCA passed and 24 million fewer insured Americans by 2026 – a partial result of removing the ObamaCare mandate and penalty for not having health insurance. The AHCA was projected to reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion.
“We learned a lot about loyalty, we learned a lot about the vote-getting process, we learned a lot about some very arcane rules in obviously both the Senate and in the House.” – President Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office on Friday afternoon
Conservative Republicans like the House Freedom Caucus wanted a seat at the table to negotiate with other Republicans and President Donald J. Trump, the chief negotiator, in order to effectively bring costs down. President Trump met and spoke on the phone early and late at night with moderate and conservative Republicans in trying to negotiate the best plan for the American people. However, House Speaker Paul Ryan and the House leadership seemed stubborn during negotiations after not building consensus in their own Party before rolling out the AHCA.
“When they all become civilized and come together and try to workout a great health care bill for the people of this country, we’re open to it,” President Trump said on Friday shortly after the House removed the AHCA from a vote. “Everybody worked hard. I worked as a team player and would have loved to seen it pass…perhaps, the best thing that could have happened was exactly what happened today because we’ll end up with a truly great health care bill in the future after this mess known as ObamaCare explodes,” the Chief Executive added.
Key Components of the AHCA:
-First major reform of medicaid
-Repeal individual and employer mandate
-Defund Planned Parenthood
-Cuts ObamaCare taxes and if passed, would have made tax relief and reform easier to enact
What the Freedom Caucus Wanted in the AHCA:
-No one-size fits all mandate
-Essential health benefits such as maternity and mental health benefits removed (President Trump reportedly conceded)
-Remove pre-existing conditions, guaranteed issue and community rating
“The ACA chose to deal with [pre-existing conditions] by saying, ‘If you are an insurer, you must sell to anyone who walks through the door, regardless, and you’ll get paid as if the person were healthy.’ That’s a recipe for disaster,” said Dr. Robert Graboyes a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University on episode 36 of “The Neil A. Carousso Show Podcast.”
Dr. Graboyes explained that one piece of legislation will neither fix the health insurance cost problem nor the quality of health care. This reporter asked pointed questions of the health care policy expert: “What should be included in any new legislation as Republicans start over on health care?”
What is better policy: a clean repeal of ObamaCare or a simultaneous repeal and replacement and is that feasible? Listen to episode 36 of the daily podcast above for answers on how your health care may be affected and what the future holds for health care and health insurance.
It seems Speaker Ryan will revisit health care and draw up a new plan as President Trump begins to tackle tax reform next in his ambitious agenda.