When Republicans don’t want to tackle Obamacare, they’re doing it themselves
When Republicans want to avoid taking responsibility for the Affordable Care Act, they have been busy drafting a plan that would dismantle the entire law and turn health care into a partisan exercise.
And when Democrats are not willing to go down that road, they’ve been trying to force their own version on Republicans, who have been reluctant to embrace a plan with a $1.9 trillion price tag and far less control over it than Democrats have.
That’s the lesson Republicans are learning from the Affordable Healthcare Act, which Republicans and Democrats both have tried to pass, despite its flaws.
“The Affordable Care act is the only thing that has ever worked,” said Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.).
“You can’t build it on the ground, you can’t repeal it.”
But now, after a number of Republican defections, that may not be the case.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released its analysis of the Republican version of the bill, which concluded that the AHCA would increase premiums by 18% and decrease coverage by 28%.
The CBO says that under current law, a 20-person family would pay $1,300 more in premiums over the next decade, and that if the House bill included the $800 billion in subsidies, that family would spend an extra $2,400 per year.
The bill would also increase premiums for older Americans by up to $2 a month.
For younger people, premiums would increase by $600, while for middle-income Americans, they would drop by $200.
The CBO’s analysis also found that a 30-year-old woman with insurance would pay an additional $2 more per month than the House legislation, while a 25-year old woman would pay just $600 more.
The analysis found that the House would save $5 billion in premiums by 2020 over the House plan, but that the CBO projected the savings would be $7 billion in 2021 and $9 billion in 2022.
Democrats countered that the numbers were wrong, arguing that older Americans would face higher premiums, and they argued that the plan would not actually save money.
That argument, however, did not sit well with Rep. Andy Harris (D-Md.), who has been working on a different plan that could be more cost-effective.
He is now working on the Senate version of his bill.
“If the CBO is wrong, then the Republicans are wrong,” Harris told The Hill.
The GOP version of its bill is a $5 trillion spending bill that is designed to fund the government through 2026, but it would also repeal some of Obamacare’s regulations, such as the requirement that insurers cover birth control and the requirement for employers to offer coverage.
The Senate bill would only repeal the requirement to cover birth-control and would allow states to set their own cost-sharing requirements.
The House bill would go even further and repeal some provisions of Obamacare that Harris and others say will hurt middle-class families, such a requirement for people to have health insurance and the ban on insurance companies discriminating against people with preexisting conditions.
The two bills would also go a step further by repealing the tax penalty for people who do not have health coverage, as well as some provisions that would reduce Medicaid funding and make the cost-shifting requirement to buy insurance more difficult.
But Harris and other conservatives say the bill would still lead to higher premiums and higher costs.
“We’re going to be spending trillions of dollars to get this done.
And if we don’t do it, then what do we do?”
Harris told reporters earlier this month.
“And if we do this bill, then we can’t be expected to spend the money we’re going on, because we’re not spending that money.
We’re just making a bigger mess.”
The bill also includes a number to help states and localities with their transition from the ACA to a Republican version.
The proposal would give the states up to a $2 billion subsidy for those who opt to opt out of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.
It would also give states the ability to create their own private marketplaces, a move that is expected to drive up premiums.
“I think this is a great idea, and we should give it a try,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R.-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate Health Committee.
“It’s going to bring down costs and get more people in the system, so I think we should go for it.”
He also said that he has been discussing a number options with the House leadership, including the idea of a one-year delay in Medicaid expansion, which would allow more people to sign up.
But even if the Senate bill was passed and passed the House, Republicans say they would still not be able to get the $1 trillion in tax cuts that were in the Senate proposal, and would still have to pass the bill through the House to get them through the Senate.
The AHCA passed the Senate by a 52-48 margin last week