Republicans again fail to repeal & replace Obamacare


Two more Republican Senators announced that they would oppose the latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, killing the measure.

What about just trying to repeal Obamacare, which has been floated as plan B?  Enough Republicans have said that they will oppose that too, so that proposal is dead in the water.

Republicans say that they want to do away with Obamacare.  But they are unable to do anything about it, even though they control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.

I suspect part of the problem is that the proposed replacements are not that different from Obamacare in the first place, so that Republicans don’t want to be blamed for the next unpopular health care plan.

But repealing the Affordable Care Act and going back to the way it was before is also going to be unpopular, since entitlement programs are almost impossible to take back once they are passed.

Then again, the Republican majority seems incapable of passing any substantive program.  This is reportedly the least productive legislature in 164 years.

Why do you think the Republicans are having such trouble governing?

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OK, try this health care bill


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has released yet another health care bill, designed to pick up support from both conservative and moderate Republicans who opposed the previous version for different reasons.

This new plan to replace–or, some say, revise–Obamacare keeps more of that program’s taxes and provides more money for opioid addiction, low-income subsidies, and insurance company relief.  A proposal aimed at conservatives is to allow insurance companies to offer stripped-down policies–not loaded up with government requirements–at a low cost.

McConnell can pass the bill with only two Republican defections.  Senators Rand Paul (Kentucky) and Susan Colllins (Maine) have already said they won’t support the revised bill.  (Ten Republican senators rejected the earlier option.)  So he has to win over the rest.

Do you think this bill is enough of an improvement to pass?  Do you think it should?  Details of the plan after the jump. [Read more…]

The Senate’s health care bill


Senate Republicans released their proposed health care bill, which, if it passes, must be reconciled to the bill passed by the House of Representatives.

Go here for a helpful comparison of the Senate bill with that of the House of Representatives and with Obamacare.

But the Senate bill is already in trouble.  Republicans have 52 seats, so they can lose two votes.  But four senators have announced their opposition:  Ted Cruz (TX), Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), and Ron Johnson (WI).

These are conservatives, but moderates aren’t fond of the bill either.  Changes to satisfy these four might jeopardize it with the moderates.

Obamacare is unlikely to be replaced, just revised.  And maybe not even that.

Photo of Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee (from left), by Gage Skidmore, Flickr, Creative Commons License

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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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