Some Republicans Are Playing Down The Possibility That The High Court Will Invalidate The Health Law While Others Believe The Party Should Emphasize Its Ideas For A Replacement
Democrats have said 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage if the Affordable Care Act is invalidated.
WASHINGTON—A looming Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act is pitting Republicans who believe the party should release a replacement proposal against other GOP lawmakers and health policy experts who have played down the need for a plan because they say the court is unlikely to strike down the law.
The lack of a consensus Republican proposal has animated Democrats who say the GOP push to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court poses a risk to 20 million Americans who could lose their health coverage if the law is invalidated. Democrats portray Judge Barrett as an opponent of ACA who would give the court a 6-3 conservative majority likely to rule against the law. “I’m not hostile to the ACA. I’m not hostile to any statute you pass,” Judge Barrett told senators at her confirmation hearings Tuesday.
What would you like to see included in a Republican health-care plan? Join the conversation below.
President Trump has repeatedly promised to produce a health plan that he says would be an improvement over the ACA. Last month he sketched out a health-care vision he said would protect coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions.
Democratic lawmakers on Monday held photographs of people they said would be impacted by the elimination of the Affordable Health Care Act.
Curious How Many In Your State Could Lose Their Health Insurance If The Gop Repeals Obamacare Without A Replacement We’ve Got You Covered
Republican Senator Bob Corker is beginning to get cold feet about an immediate repeal of Obamacare. And perhaps for good reason. Under the GOP’sÂ current plan to gut the health care law before providing any alternative, Corker’s state of Tennessee could see the number of uninsured individuals soar by more than 525,000 â€” 7.9 percent of the state’s 6.6 million people â€” in the next two years, according to a recent analysis.
In Kentucky, home of Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, the uninsured number could rise by 200 percent, or 486,000 people.Â As for House Majority Leader Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin? Try 413,000 newly-uninsured, or about 7.5 percent of the state’s total population.
Republicans, however, seem unwilling to budge. Calling Obamacare “a catastrophic event,” Trump on Tuesday urged Congressional leaders to repeal it immediately and to replace “shortly thereafter,”he told the New York Times.
Regardless, Republican leaders are hoping to adopt a budget resolution this week that would allow a repeal to Obamacare with just 50 votes in the Senate.
The move could buy Corker and his GOP colleagues a little more time. As it stands, their five states alone could see another 2.2 million people lose their health insurance should Obamacare be repealed without a replacement.
Why Do Republicans Want To Repeal Obamacare So Much Because It Would Be A Big Tax Cut For The Rich
There are going to be so many tax cuts for the rich, you’re going to get tired of tax cuts for the rich. You’re going to say, “Mr. President, please don’t cut taxes for the rich so much, this is getting terrible.”
And it will start when Republicans repeal Obamacare.
This is the Rosetta Stone for understanding why conservatives have acted like subsidized health care was the end of the republic itself. It wasn’t just that it had the word “Obama” in its name, which, in our polarized age, was enough to ensure that 45 percent of the country would despise it. No, it was that Obamacare was one of the biggest redistributive policies of the last 50 years. The Republican Party, after all, exists for what seems like the sole purpose of reversing redistribution.
A quick recap: Obamacare is a kind of three-legged stool. First, it tells insurance companies that they can’t discriminate against sick people anymore; second, it tells people that they have to buy insurance or pay a penalty, so that everyone doesn’t just wait until they’re sick to get covered; and third, it helps people who can’t afford the plans they have to buy be able to. Which is to say that you need to come up with a whole lot of money to make this work — money that Obamacare gets by taxing the rich. Indeed, at its most basic level, it raises taxes on the top 1 percent to pay for health insurance for the bottom 40 percent.
Getting tired of tax cuts for the rich yet?
Gop Wants To Repeal Obamacare Without A Backup Plan But Some Republicans Say That’s A Bad Idea
A Republican-led lawsuit is leaving the fate of the Affordable Care Act hanging in the balance of the courts amid a pandemic that’s ravaged the globe and exacerbated the need for health care.
Yet GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill concede they do not have safety net legislation ready to catch the millions of Americans who would find themselves suddenly without health insurance during a potential second coronavirus wave.
Some Republicans, however, believe that needs to change.
“We need to have a plan in place to make sure that people don’t lose coverage,” said Senator Mitt Romney .
Pre-existing conditions are the “most important thing” to cover, said Senator Martha McSally. But, the Arizona Republican added, “there are many other contingencies that we need to be looking into,” referring to a wide array of issues that could arise without the law.
Republicans have tried unsuccessfully over the years to repeal and replace Obamacare with health provisions of their own. But more than three years into President Donald Trump’s first term, they acknowledge there is neither a discussion nor a plan available to simply replace the expansive health care law that is Obamacare, should it be struck down.
Senator Rick Scott , a former hospital CEO, said he’s “come up with lots of proposals. But there’s no proposal here,” he added.
Republicans Are Still Trying To Repeal Obamacare Heres Why They Are Not Likely To Succeed
Conservatives are still trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act — even after the Republican-majority Congress failed to overturn the law in 2017. A coalition of conservative groups intends to release a new plan this summer. The groups will reportedly propose ending the law’s expansion of Medicaid and convert Medicaid funding into block grants to the states. And just last week the Trump administration’s Justice Department argued in a legal filing that key provisions of the law — its protections for persons with preexisting conditions — are unconstitutional.
Why are Republicans still trying to undo the ACA? We argue in a forthcoming article that the law’s political vulnerabilities and Republican electoral dynamics drive conservative efforts to uproot it.
In the past, conservatives have thrown in the towel
As politicians and political scientists both know, the can never be taken for granted. Even so, the duration and intensity of conservative resistance to the ACA is historically unusual. The ACA is a moderate law, modeled on ideas that Republicans once supported, such as insurance purchasing pools. What’s more, many red states refuse to accept the ACA’s funding to expand Medicaid to more of their citizens — such as Texas, which has a large number of uninsured residents — even though you would think they would want those federal benefits.
So why is the ACA still politically vulnerable?
The answer lies partly in the way the program was designed.
Is repeal likely?
Trump Administration Republican Attorneys General Ask Supreme Court To Repeal Aca
The Trump administration and Republican state attorneys general called on the Supreme Court to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act . President Trump has endorsed repealing the ACA since his 2016 campaign, while Republican lawmakers have largely opposed the law since its inception in 2010.
This story has been updated.
The Trump administration yesterday asked the Supreme Court to repeal the Affordable Care Act stating“the entire ACA act must fall,” hours after Republican state attorneys general, the coalition challenging the law, filed its briefs in the case. Overturning the ACA was a key campaign rallying point for President Trump in 2016 and Republican lawmakers have largely opposed the law since its inception in 2010.
Despite the economic crisis due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, Trump in May promised to continue fighting the ACA, stating “We want to terminate health care under Obamacare.” The case is expected to go before the Supreme Court in the spring of 2021.
In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the request. “President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty,” she stated.
The filing accuses the ACA of inflicting “classic pocketbook injuries on the states,” in addition to preventing states from enforcing their own laws and policies.
Trump Carries On Criticism Of Mccain As A Republican Calls His Words ‘deplorable’
On Wednesday the president repeated his prediction that the GOP would be “the party of great health care.” He slammed the current law as a “disaster” and referred to the court case underway in federal court. He asserted that the case would do very well in the Supreme Court. And if the high court scrapped the law, he vowed, “we will have a plan that’s far better than Obamacare.”
Some GOP political strategists are skeptical. “Dear GOP: When Democrats are setting themselves ablaze by advocating for the destruction of American health care, try to resist the temptation of asking them to pass the kerosene,” tweeted Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is advising GOP campaigns in the 2020 elections.
“It is a top-of-mind issue for voters; and for Republicans, having a health care plan is very important. I’m not sure that this was the right move to win back suburban voters who are obviously very concerned about pre-existing conditions, and what does that mean for them. But if this lights a fire under us to have a really good health care plan, maybe that’s the silver lining here,” another veteran Republican campaign strategist told NPR.
The Health Care Repeal Lawsuit Could Strip Coverage From 23 Million Americans
Tomorrow, the Trump administration and 18 Republican governors and attorneys general will file their opening briefs with the Supreme Court in California v. Texas—the health care repeal lawsuit. The lawsuit, criticized across the political spectrum as a “badly flawed” case, threatens to upend the Affordable Care Act and strip 23.3 million Americans of their health coverage, according to new CAP analysis—about 3 million more than was forecast before the coronavirus pandemic. The anti-ACA agitators who initiated the health care repeal lawsuit, backed by the Trump administration, continue their attempts to dismantle the ACA, including its coverage expansions and consumer protections, amid the pandemic, during which comprehensive health coverage has never been more important. Millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and job-based insurance due to the current economic crisis are relying on the insurance options made possible by the ACA to keep themselves and their families covered.
Impeachment Just Got Less Likely And 6 Other Takeaways From The Barr Letter
Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster, maintained that the 2018 midterm results were driven more by demographic trends than by the health care issue.
“Democrats had made it clear that they wanted to make health care a major issue in the 2020 election and this decision helps them in that effort. We will see how successful they are in absence of a court ruling. But it does help to shine a spotlight back for an issue that they believe will be helpful to them.”
NPR’s Jessica Taylor contributed to this story.
Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court To Strike Down Affordable Care Act
If successful, the move would permanently end the health insurance program popularly known as Obamacare and wipe out coverage for as many as 23 million Americans.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court late Thursday to overturn the Affordable Care Act — a move that, if successful, would bring a permanent end to the health insurance program popularly known as Obamacare and wipe out coverage for as many as 23 million Americans.
In an 82-page brief submitted an hour before a midnight deadline, the administration joined Republican officials in Texas and 17 other states in arguing that in 2017, Congress, then controlled by Republicans, had rendered the law unconstitutional when it zeroed out the tax penalty for not buying insurance — the so-called individual mandate.
The administration’s argument, coming in the thick of an election season — as well as a pandemic that has devastated the economy and left millions of unemployed Americans without health coverage — is sure to reignite Washington’s bitter political debate over health care.
In his brief, Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco argued that the health law’s two remaining central provisions are now invalid because Congress intended that all three work together.
The court has not said when it will hear oral arguments, but they are most likely to take place in the fall, just as Americans are preparing to go to the polls in November.
Medicare’s Uncapped Drug Costs Take A Big Bite From Already Tight Budgets
The president continues to pick a fight on Twitter and at political rallies with the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for his role in derailing the GOP’s repeal effort, but his attacks do not accurately reflect the reality that there was never an alternative health care bill to vote on that could have passed Congress. McCain, Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, were all deeply skeptical of a strategy that threatened to negatively affect health care for millions of Americans without a clear plan to fix the damage uprooting the law would cause in practical terms.
Health care is an issue the president still wants to pursue. Trump huddled privately with Senate Republicans this week and told them it’s an area in which the party has fallen short and he wants a win. “The Republican Party will soon be known as the party of health care,” Trump told reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Trump Administration Says Entire Affordable Care Act Should Be Repealed
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced plans Wednesday to try to force a vote on an amendment to a disaster aid bill, under debate in the Senate this week, that would block funding for the Justice Department’s work on that lawsuit aimed at dismantling the ACA. “Let’s see how our Republican colleagues will vote on this,” he said.
Health care was the No. 1 motivating issue in the 2018 midterm elections that delivered Democrats a House majority. According to a Washington Post analysis of exit poll data from 69 battleground districts, health care emerged as the top issue for voters — besting Trump, the economy and immigration as priorities.
A Word Not Uttered By Republican Officials At The Convention: Obamacare
A longtime refrain, promise and rallying cry is gone.
In 2012, right in the middle of his convention speech, Mitt Romney declared the repeal of Obamacare a crucial priority. It was part of his five-part plan for a “better future.”
“We must rein in the skyrocketing cost of health care by repealing and replacing Obamacare,” he said.
Four years later, there was little doubt that Donald J. Trump would also mention the health law: “We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare!” he declared to roaring applause.
This week, Mr. Trump didn’t mention Obamacare at all in his convention speech. The word that rallied Republican voters for nearly a decade has barely been uttered. It came up precisely once during the convention, during a speech by Natalie Harp, a cancer survivor who is not an elected official.
In the 2012 and 2016 G.O.P. conventions, repealing Obamacare was a central, almost obligatory part of every political speech, a goal shared by every candidate, a priority of almost every Republican voter.
The term Obamacare, originally conceived by Republicans to diminish its popularity, has been used less often among Democratic politicians, though President Obama himself ultimately embraced it.
The 2010 health care law expanded health coverage, barred insurers from discriminating against patients with pre-existing health conditions and made numerous other changes to the way health care is delivered and financed. The desire to upend it has not abated much among Republican voters.
Repeal And Replace Is Dead Republicans Cant Figure Out What Comes Next
The pandemic and Biden’s incremental policies have scrambled the party’s usual lines of attack.
A demonstrator holds a sign in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as arguments are heard about the Affordable Care Act on Nov. 10, 2020. | Alex Brandon/AP Photo
02/26/2021 04:30 AM EST
Former President Donald Trump is gone and so are his promises to throw out Obamacare. Now the Republican Party is left with figuring out what comes after “repeal and replace.”
GOP lawmakers rarely mention Obamacare, and a GOP-backed challenge to the law at the Supreme Court doesn’t appear to be a major threat. Republican attacks on Democrats pursuing a “government takeover” of health care through a single-payer system don’t quite sizzle when President Joe Biden has made clear he wants nothing to do with it. And long-favored Republican designs on shrinking the health care safety net isn’t great policy or politics in the middle of a pandemic and economic crisis.
Which leaves a big fat question mark about what vision of health care Republicans will offer to voters as the country emerges from the pandemic, after a decade in which implacable opposition to the Affordable Care Act was part of the GOP’s core identity.
Xavier Becerra testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on his nomination to be secretary of Health and Human Services on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. | Greg Nash/Pool via AP
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Opposition To Obamacare Becomes Political Liability For Gop Incumbents
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Trumps Executive Action Could Erode Marketplace Built Under Obamacare
Attempts to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act have failed in the past several months, leading President Donald Trump to issue an executive order expanding access to cheaper, less comprehensive health care plans.
The order, signed on Oct. 12, instructs federal agencies to remove certain limitations on “association health plans” and expand the availability of short-term health plans, both of which can skirt certain minimum coverage requirements included in the Affordable Care Act and state laws.
These changes will not immediately take effect; federal agencies will have to figure out how to act on Trump’s directions.
The executive action orders agencies to explore ways in which the government can expand access to short-term health plans, which are available to individuals on a three-month basis and meant for people who are in-between health care coverage plans. Under the instructions, association health plans would be allowed to sell plans across state lines; those plans allow small businesses to band together to create cheaper health care plans that offer fewer benefits.
The order was intended to create more options for individuals seeking health insurance and help stimulate competition among insurers. Some health policy advocates worry that it could disrupt the insurance marketplace in a way that would drive up health care costs for elderly individuals and people with medical conditions.
It will be months before changes are seen in the marketplace.
Republicans Learn The Limits Of Reconciliation With Failed Aca Repeal
With late night drama not often seen on the Senate floor, Republicans’ latest attempts to pass a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act failed last night, thanks in part to a divide the party’s congressional leaders, especially in the Senate, could simply not bridge.
At the end of the day, however, individual Senate Republicans concluded that even if leaders had judged that “repealing Obamacare” was in the best interests of the party collectively, they could not support the different proposals drafted to actually get there. This was perhaps most true of Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski , who opposed beginning debate and all three alternative proposals considered this week. There were also, however, 11 other senators who voted no on at least one of the alternatives offered this week. While some of those votes may have been strategic, as members knew that the proposal would not ultimately be enacted, they do help illustrate the persistent divides within the Republican Party about the best way to proceed on health policy. In an era of high party polarization and a well-sorted electorate, this kind of cross-pressuring, where what’s good for the party is not necessarily good for the individual member, is less common than it once was. But as the experience of the last few months suggests, those situations can still and do arise.
Trump Wants To ‘repeal And Replace’ The Affordable Care Act Quickly
Following the Republican playbook, Donald Trump promised as president to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to replace it with something that emphasizes free market principles.
“Real change begins with immediately repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare,” Trump said at a Nov. 7, 2016, rally in Michigan.
Currently, 20 million people have health insurance under President Barack Obama’s signature law, and the uninsured rate is below 9 percent, a record low. Repealing and replacing Obamacare would require lawmakers to figure out whether they will cover those people, and if so, how.
WHY HE’S PROMISING IT
The Affordable Care Act isn’t popular. Polling conducted in 2016 shows that Americans are divided on the law.
And the law has some problems. Despite provisions aimed at curbing rising health care costs, premiums for plans on HealthCare.gov are expected to go up an average of 22 percent in 2017. Insurance companies have pulled out of the marketplaces in 29 states.
HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST
Trump has several policy ideas for what the health care law replacement should include. He suggests allowing providers to sell insurance across state lines, making it so individuals could deduct premium payments from their tax returns and requiring price transparency from health care providers. He also proposes block-granting Medicaid to the states and encouraging health savings accounts.
WHAT’S STANDING IN HIS WAY
Mandate Rollback Not A Repeal Of Obamacare But It May Undermine It
The Republicans’ successful drive to pass a massive tax bill allowed President Donald Trump to take another slice off of the Affordable Care Act. Effective 2019, the sweeping tax package repeals the penalty on people who might be able to afford health insurance but choose not to buy it. The individual mandate affects a relatively narrow sliver of Americans, but it has been a pillar of Obamacare.
The mandate was the stick to herd more people — healthy people — into the insurance pool. That would spread the risk, keep premiums down and produce a stable insurance market.
Fundamentally, it was the evil twin of a very popular feature of the health care law — guaranteed coverage of people with pre-existing conditions. The deal was that if the government is going to force insurance companies to cover everyone, then it must deliver a big insurance pool with a lot of people who won’t rack up medical bills. The mandate plays a similar role with the Affordable Care Act’s community rating rules, which prevent the insurance companies from charging sick people more than healthy people.
Last year, about 6.5 million households paid the penalty . In a Nov. 13 tweet, Trump called the mandate unfair and highly unpopular and urged the Senate to add repeal to its tax package. Trump got what he wanted.
Eliminating it does no favors for Obamacare’s goal to get more people covered at a price they can afford.
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Selected References To Obamacare At Recent Republican Conventions:
“We must rein in the skyrocketing cost of health care by repealing and replacing Obamacare.” — Mitt Romney, presidential nominee
“The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.” — Paul Ryan, vice-presidential nominee
“Elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare.” — Paul Ryan
“He will roll back Obamacare, starting on Day 1.” — Kelly Ayotte, U.S. senator
“Can we repeal Obamacare?” — Ted Cruz, U.S. Senate candidate
“It is time to repeal Obamacare.” — Pam Bondi, Florida’s attorney general
After Mueller Report Memo Democrats Turn To Health Care For Now
For Republicans, the renewed effort threatened to pick the scab of old political wounds. Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who is up for re-election in 2020, was one of the three Republican senators who helped defeat a last-ditch GOP effort in 2017 to repeal Obamacare. Collins told reporters Wednesday that she is “vehemently opposed” to the administration’s decision. A spokeswoman said Collins is drafting a letter to Attorney General William Barr to voice her opposition to the effort.
While Republicans and Trump campaigned for the better part of a decade against the health care law — the signature domestic achievement of the Obama presidency — the party never coalesced around an alternative policy that would provide insurance coverage to more Americans and protect coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.
How Repealing The Aca Could Impact The Gaucher Disease Community
The Affordable Care Act represents one of the most substantial changes to our nation’s healthcare policy since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation was first introduced and approved by a Democratic congressional majority. The Obama administration signed the ACA into law on March 23, 2010.
When the ACA was first enacted, many Americans didn’t consider healthcare to be a fundamental human right. Now, less than 10 years later, 54% of all Americans believe the government should provide a national health insurance program, according to a CNN poll.
But once again, the ACA is under fire. New efforts to strike down the entire ACA in court are underway, and so far, they’ve been successful. In this month’s podcast, we speak with Claire Sachs, author of The Patient Advocate’s Chronicle. She is a counselor and patient advocate with over 30 years’ experience studying policy and managing insurance coverage. During our conversation, we discover how the ACA helps people living with Gaucher disease and other chronic illnesses—and what we stand to lose if the ACA is repealed. For more information about healthcare legislation, NGF explains what is healthcare legislation?
The Affordable Care Act addresses several key issues, including health insurance coverage, preventative care, coverage for preexisting conditions, and healthcare costs. At its heart, the idea behind the ACA is to expand health insurance coverage using public options at both the federal and state levels.
Repeal Of Obamacares Taxes Would Be A Huge Tax Cut For The Rich
This did not play a major overt public role in the 2009-’10 debate about the law, but the Affordable Care Act’s financing rests on a remarkably progressive base. That means that, as the Tax Policy Center has shown, repealing it would shower moneyon a remarkably small number of remarkably wealthy Americans.
The two big relevant taxes, according to the TPC’s Howard Gleckman, are “a 0.9 percent payroll surtax on earnings and a 3.8 percent tax on net investment income for individuals with incomes exceeding $200,000 .” That payroll tax hike hits a reasonably broad swath of affluent individuals, but in a relatively minor way. The 3.8 percent tax on net investment income , by contrast, is a pretty hefty tax, but one that falls overwhelmingly on the small number of people who have hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in investment income.
For the bottom 60 percent of the population — that is, households earning less than about $67,000 a year — full repeal of the ACA would end up meaning an increase in taxes due to the loss of ACA tax credits.
But people in the top 1 percent of the income distribution — those with incomes of over about $430,000 — would see their taxes fall by an average of $25,000 a year.
Under the actual AHCA, Jared Kushner would actually pay even less in taxes. As a young person, Kushner would get a larger tax to buy insurance under the AHCA than he does now.
Directive Ending Key Subsidy Threatens Obamacare’s Viability
After failing in several attempts to pass legislation overturning the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration took a big step toward undercutting the law Oct. 12 when it said it would no longer continue funding a class of widely used subsidies without congressional appropriations.
The payments in question are known as “cost-sharing reductions.” They were intended to ease copayments and deductible costs for millions of low-income Americans who have purchased insurance coverage on the Affordable Care Act online marketplaces. The estimated cost of the payments was $9 billion next year and nearly $100 billion over the next decade.
The payments have been subject to a legal dispute since House Republicans sued in 2014, arguing that the Obama administration was improperly paying the subsidies when no money had been appropriated for that purpose by Congress. The House Republicans’ lawsuit was initially upheld in federal district court, but the case has continued to work its way through the courts.
In its announcement, the White House specifically cited the legal case as the reason for ending the payments. Insurers had been expecting a new round of payments on Oct. 18.
Health policy specialists agreed that the impact could be serious.
Experts said that lower-income Americans would be hurt the most by the change.
But ending the subsidies could have other indirect impacts, experts said.