Republican health tweak of Obamacare dead, Senate to vote for straight repeal


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This is a victory: The Republican leadership in the Senate, lacking the votes to pass their own version of Obamacare, have decided to instead go for full repeal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bowed to pressure tonight from conservatives — and President Trump — to bring up a straight repeal of most of the Affordable Care Act as the next step now that the Senate health care bill appears to be dead. It will be based on the repeal bill Congress passed in 2015, which then-President Barack Obama vetoed.

His statement: “Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful. So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up … a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable health care.”

McConnell’s hand was forced when two conservative senators, Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) announced earlier today that they would not vote for the bill.

This is what they should have done from the beginning. Granted, it is likely to fail because of Democratic opposition, but then it will be clear going into the next election who is standing in the way of fixing the problem. Had they passed any version of their turkey of a bill, the health insurance business would have continued to fail, but they would no longer have had clean hands. It would have become their problem, and it would have cost them votes in 2018.

Now, things will be clean, and we will get to see who really is on our side, from both parties. Expect several Republican senators especially to suddenly “evolve” and decide that they can’t go along with the very repeal they’ve voted for repeatedly in the past, because it might “hurt people.”

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10 comments

  • The repeal plan is already dead. They don”t have the votes.

    Voting to repeal when Obama was president was easy enough because it had no consequences. Now it does. Repealing without any idea of what to replace it with would create chaos in the insurance market. If there is no replacement plan, it would leave even more people without access to health care. It would be a worse outcome than leaving the existing system in place or approving either the House or Senate bill.

  • D. Messier: And the present Obamacare system isn’t “chaos?” It is bankrupting insurance companies, and literally outlaws affordable simple catastrophic insurance plans.

    Besides, read my post. I say right there that I didn’t think a full repeal would pass. What it does however is reveal who is for Obamacare, created by Democrats and possibly the worst law ever written and passed.

  • LocalFluff

    I think it would be a great victory for the president, and for the presidency, if GOP fails on health care. First of all it would sink the Congress’ popularity from record low to even lower, strengthening the president’s authority. And even better it would smash the GOP as a party. It would split it up into smaller weaker pieces. Just like the Democrats will in the midterm election when those who want to be re-elected will differ with the extreme communist islamic central party line.

    The president will have the weakest Congress that any president ever had. Everyone there open for making any cheap “deal” at any time. Destroying the GOP would be a great victory for any president.

  • D. Messier

    I read your post, Bob.

    Possibly the worst law ever written and passed? Wow. The hyperbole. I think slave and segregation laws were much worse. Laws against interracial marriage were worse. There are a lot of worse laws.

    The law has worked well in California and other states. The expansion of Medicaid has been a lifeline for many people. It has fallen short elsewhere.

    Instead of working on trying to address problems the GOP spent 7 years taking dozens of pointless votes on repeal. Instead of developing plans for a better system they spent 7 years filing lawsuits and trying to sabotage the new law. Given the chance to put forth a better plan, they came up with one that are worse.

    SAD!

  • Frank

    But wait, its “straight repeal” with a two year delay. Kick the can. This gives time for the politicians and press to spin this into any shape of monster they can cook up. I smell a rat.

  • wodun

    D. Messier, as a victim of Obamacare, I have to disagree with your glowing assessment. Initially my deductible went up 222% and it is even higher now. I have to pay for everything out of pocket until I have spent over $10,000.

    I am not wealthy, so can’t get a good plan and not poor enough to get gold plated subsidies. Paying for health care is out of my reach. I have several chronic health conditions that I can’t afford to treat because the higher premiums eat up all my extra money. In the event I need to pay for a moderate amount of health care, like a broken bone, minor surgery, or something similar, insurance will not help me pay for it.

    My pre-Obamacare plan wasn’t super great but the lower deductible meant that if anything significant popped up greater than a doctor’s visit or minor illness, that I would be covered with much much much less cost to myself. But now, the threat of bankruptcy looms for things my old plan would have covered and the new one wont.

    I want the government out of my Dr office. People in DC do not know what is best for me and they don’t know anything about health care much less health insurance. I really wish the people who want to feel good about helping others actually cared about the people they hurt in the process. Capitalism and free markets offer a better way than the government controlled system we have now, and the government controlled system we had before Obamacare.

  • Commodude

    The only reason the expansion of medicare has been a lifeline to some (few) is that the UACA (UN affordable care act, my portion of my insurance premiums has tripled in the last few years) is that it bankrupts others. My copays have risen, my deductibles have tripled, and my premiums have almost tripled, and you have the gall to call it a success?

  • Edward

    No one promised “repeal and replace” during the campaign. Up to the election, it was only a promise of repealing Obamacare. My memory is that “repeal and replace” came up shortly after Trump’s inauguration. Every one of the pundits who has said that we were promised “repeal and replace” during the campaign is lying to us.

    D. Messier,
    Except for having chronic health conditions, I am in a similar boat as wodun. I cannot afford to buy health insurance and to eat at the same time, so I choose to eat. The extraordinary premium prices are now so high that I would have to sell my house in order to afford to but the mandated insurance and to buy the non-mandated groceries.

    Obamacare was supposed to eliminate the choice between eating and health insurance, but it has only exacerbated the problem. Obamacare was supposed to eliminate the choice between healthcare and selling the house, but it has only exacerbated that problem, too, because now I have to choose between my house and the mere insurance policy, not even the care.

    Obamacare is a problem for everyone, not just a minority. It has disrupted our family budgets; it has attacked our religious beliefs; it has expressly attacked our work ethic, since it is stated that it’s purpose was to enable us to stop working in order to pursue our aspirations.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmL37TcBtpY (1/2 minute)

    It has adversely affected our jobs so that many people can only get part time jobs that do not include employer supplied health insurance, thus a second part time job is necessary in order to obey the mandate. Hence, we may have to work 50 hour weeks, without overtime, and without health insurance as a job benefit.

    It has failed to have any of the benefits promised and has had adverse affects across the country. Now it is failing to allow solvency for the insurance companies in order for us to be insured in the first place.

    It has removed the choices for healthcare options from the patient and doctor to uncaring bureaucrats who never see individual patient diagnoses and has no idea what is best for patients in general, much less what is best for any given patient.

    It has mandated our policies, eliminating our freedom to choose the benefits we want, and it mandates that we all must buy it or find someone to buy it for us, eliminating our freedom to choose whether or not we need or want it. What other tyranny has ever been so terrible as to have had the audacity to direct its people as to how to spend their own money? This is not a rhetorical question; I honestly want to know the answer.

    There may or may not be any death panels, but there most certainly is a death equation. If your treatment will cost more than your actuarial life expectancy times $26,000, well, you don’t get the treatment, no matter the rest of your health history or your enjoyment of life. Even Obama stated that an elderly person would be better off taking pills for the pain rather than getting a pacemaker to allow her to continue to enjoy life.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z84hTRtSV1U (2 minutes)

    So, yes. Obamacare is far worse than slave, interracial marriage, and segregation laws. Obamacare has made slaves of us all, allowed government so much control over our lives that it has destroyed our concept of marriage and religious freedom, and mandatory segregation is returning with a vengeance, on America’s college campuses. Obamacare has put uncaring bureaucrats in charge of the ability for all of us and each of us to enjoy of life only in the way that the bureaucrats choose, not us.

    So much for the US Constitution’s purpose for the government to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” So much for the Declaration of Independence’s protection of our “unalienable Rights, … Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Where is that right to life when bureaucrats believe that we would be better off taking pain pills rather than getting healthcare that the bureaucrat decides is too expensive? Where is that liberty when we are mandated to spend our money in ways that we do not choose? Where is that pursuit of happiness when uncaring bureaucrats are in charge of the ability for each and every one of us to enjoy of life?

    Obamacare’s horrendous ill effects on all of us makes your “worst law ever,” D. Messier, seem like hyperbole in comparison.

  • Joe

    Obama care was engineered to fail from the beginning, they are after single payer, in addition to the problems that Wodun and Edward have with the ACA, it eventually taxes peaple with work sponsored plans at close to full value of the insurance cost as income tax, not only is my insurance plan less effective than before Obama care, I now get to pay a significant amount more in taxes!

  • Cotour

    A fiend just emailed me, he thinks that there is just one party now in America. My response:

    “And the name of this one American political party?

    The “Get Elected Again Party”. The GEAP party.

    That one thing, getting reelected, is what drives these actions and in actions that are a threat to us all.

    The two year election cycle drives all politicos to do things that are in their interests of power retention and not do what must be done. This is one more rational for the existence of term limits, although I am sure that those who would have nothing to lose in the last year of their power would somehow extort their pound of flesh from those who still had time left. In the end its all in the hands of the electorate to ruthlessly enforce their will.

    This is what lies at the foundation of our destruction.”

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