Some Republicans Try to Head Off a Health Care Crisis
Despite this being the NY Times, I think it’s a very good opinion piece on how the republicans should act with care in repealing the ACA. The comments, some of which are by doctors, are also worth considering. This piece was only published today, but already it has close to 100 comments.
President-elect Donald Trump and other Republican leaders may be determined to repeal the Affordable Care Act immediately, but a few more sensible members of the party are now trying to slow down this runaway train. They recognize the danger in destroying a program that directly benefits 22 million Americans — and indirectly millions more by controlling costs — without a plan to replace it.
That perhaps obvious insight has yet to penetrate Mr. Trump’s reality distortion field. He said on Tuesday that Congress should vote to repeal the law as early as next week and replace it with new legislation “very shortly thereafter.” His statements once again demonstrated cluelessness or indifference to how laws are made, especially in a field as complicated as health care. Most experts think that it could well take years for lawmakers to replace a law that requires insurers to sell affordable policies to people with pre-existing medical conditions, provides subsidies to help people buy insurance and encourages doctors and hospitals to reduce unnecessary and expensive medical procedures.
The House speaker, Paul Ryan, claimed on Tuesday that Republicans would try to repeal and replace the law “concurrently.” He offered few details, but his statement suggests Congress won’t repeal the A.C.A. for several months at least. On Monday, five Republican senators — Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of Ohio — faced up to that reality. They proposed slowing down a budgetary process designed by congressional leaders to effectively kill the most important parts of Obamacare by defunding them.
Two Republican governors, John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan, have said that Congress ought to preserve parts of the law, like its expansion of Medicaid, which has improved care for the poor and reduced the heavy burden of charity care at hospitals. About 665,000 people in Ohio and 614,000 in Michigan gained coverage under Medicaid expansion as of December 2015, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
IMO, this whole ACA repeal will be a debacle for the republicans. They will soon realize that republican-lite Obama funneled millions–billions!–into corporate coffers in the form of subsidies. They will not be able to do better than that. It will be a great source of schadenfreude for those of us who like to laugh at them.
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