Trump vs. his own supporters?

House_Freedom_Caucus_logoThe plan to “repeal and replace” Obamacare that was shot down on Friday was complicated politically.  Nearly all Republicans wanted the “repeal” part, just as nearly all Democrats opposed it.  The hangup was on the “replace” part.  Conservative Republicans, by and large, opposed the proposed replacement as little more than “Obamacare lite,” retaining the huge government role in healthcare that they oppose in the current law.  So it isn’t completely fair to say that Republicans who wouldn’t vote for the replacement were refusing to repeal Obamacare.

The American Health Care Act was a creation of Speaker Paul Ryan and other “establishment” Republicans who accept a somewhat more activist role for government.

Here is the irony:  Virtually all of the “Freedom Caucus” Republican congressmen who were responsible for defeating the bill were Trump supporters during the presidential campaign!  Ryan and the other authors of the proposed health care plan not so much!

Yet President Trump allied himself with his former opponents, throwing the full force of his office behind their bill, and now vilifies the lawmakers who otherwise are on his side! [Read more…]

Trump will keep Obamacare if his healthcare bill fails–which it did

Donald_Trump_(25218642186)Republican lawmakers, seeing that they don’t have the votes, postponed voting on President Trump’s healthcare bill, which was supposed to happen on Thursday.  But the president is demanding a vote on Friday.

Not only that, Trump says that if his “repeal and replace” bill fails, he will just leave Obamacare as the law of the land.

UPDATE:  Lacking the votes to pass it, the Republican leadership pulled the bill.  Speaker Paul Ryan said that we will just have to live with Obamacare.  President Trump blamed the Democrats, all of whom voted against his American Health Care Act, saying that we will just have to watch Obamacare “explode.”

 

Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Donald Trump) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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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…]