Trump threatens opponents of his health care bill

AHCA changesPresident Trump is pressuring conservative Congressmen who are opposed to his health care bill.  The “repeal and replace” response to Obamacare, which retains many of the elements of that program, is facing a vote on Thursday.

The president says that representatives who vote “no” may not get re-elected.  He said that he would campaign for those who vote “yes.”

This time President Trump is on the same side as Republican leaders such as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, who are usually branded as the “establishment” by Trump supporters.  Still wanting a government role in health care, the GOP leadership is also leaning on bill opponents, implying that they might face primary opposition if they do not get on board.  But they have also added “sweeteners” to win more votes.

While conservative Republicans, especially members of the “freedom caucus,” oppose the government’s continued involvement in citizen’s health care decisions, liberal Democrats object to any changes at all to Obamacare.

The vote will be close.  Some 20-25 House Republicans either oppose the bill or are undecided.  Trump can only afford to lose 21.

UPDATE:  Conservative organizations, some of which distribute campaign money, are threatening supporters of the bill, saying that a “yes” vote will brand lawmakers to be insufficiently conservative to earn their support.  The health care bill is shaping up to be the first major policy conflict between Trump and conservatives.

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Trump pushing conservatives to adopt GOP health care bill

4527428186_6a8f43375d_zPresident Trump is taking ownership of the Republican bill to replace Obamacare with an alternative national health care system.  He is trying to “quash” conservative resistance to the proposal and has pledged to do what it takes to get the bill passed.

But the President is open to changes to the bill, which will surely look different once it goes through the various committees and amendment processes.

The administration does not, however, like the word “Trumpcare.”  Then again, the Obama administration did not like the word “Obamacare.”  Just as the previous president preferred “The Affordable Care Act,” Trump spokesmen prefer the actual name given in the bill, The American Health Care Act.

Republicans who don’t like it but who want to distance it from Trump are calling it Ryancare.   Senator Rand Paul, a critic of the program, is calling it Obamacare-lite.  I suspect, though, that “Trumpcare” is going to stick.

In our previous discussion of the Republican plan, many of you were opposed to it.  Does it change your mind, now that President Trump is getting behind it? [Read more…]

Trumpcare vs. Obamacare

obama-1301891_640The Republicans have finally introduced a bill to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.  Let us call it Trumpcare!

The new plan would eliminate penalties for not having health insurance and cut Obamacare taxes.  People could still get health insurance on state exchanges.  And low income Americans would get subsidies in the form of tax credits.  Those who don’t pay income taxes will still get the money to help pay for their health insurance.  Health Savings accounts will also be part of the program.

The new bill will prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicare money.  Also, tax credits may not be used for policies that pay for abortions.

What do you think of this replacement?  Does Trumpcare keep too much of Obamacare?  Does it do too much or too little?


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Obamacare blows up

2017 may be the year that Obamacare blows up.  The number of mandated free coverages and other government requirements on the insurance companies is causing premiums to shoot up.  It has also caused many of the insurance companies that once participated to drop out of the program, meaning less competition and sending premiums even higher.

An editorial in the Daily Oklahoman cites a buyer who paid $318 per month in Obamacare’s first year.  In 2017, he will have to pay $716 a month.  With a $2,500 deductible.  And his dental and vision plans have been dropped.

Yes, low income customers can get government subsidies, which will also have to go up, adding to the deficit. But even then, the deductibles have become so high that many of the uninsured are still hard-pressed to pay their medical bills even with their government-mandated insurance. [Read more…]

California churches to be forced to pay for abortions?

The state of California has classified abortion as a “basic health service,” which means that under Obamacare, all insurance policies, including those of churches, must pay for abortions.  Churches have applied to the Obama administration for relief, but they were denied.  The issue is now before the courts. [Read more…]

Obamacare funding ruled unconstitutional

A federal judge has ruled that the mechanism for subsidizing insurance companies under Obamacare violates the Constitution.  That document reads, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” (Article 1.  Section 9).  The Obama administration has been paying that money without Congress having passed an appropriation to do so.  The ruling is on hold, pending appeal. [Read more…]