“The White House, anxious for a legislative victory on health care, insisted that it fully expects a GOP repeal and replace bill to pass in the coming weeks that will fulfill Trump’s pledge to end Obamacare. Democrats have ruled out negotiating with Republicans unless they work to fix the law, not repeal it.” (A)
“Last week and this week, Republican leaders in the Senate released a series of discussion drafts of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). BCRA would make major changes to the Medicaid program and to tax credits to purchase private insurance, significantly reducing the number of people who can access affordable coverage, particularly those who are most vulnerable. If a family receives Medicaid, it may no longer qualify in future years as the bill’s cap and cuts force states to reduce Medicaid coverage. If passed, BCRA will be catastrophic to working families across the United States.
BCRA may actually create new inequities and a new set of haves and have-nots in the United States. Millions of people will lose insurance through Medicaid if the bill becomes law, and even more will lose coverage in the private insurance market depending on income levels, insurance coverage, pre-existing conditions or even zip codes.
Under BCRA, coverage depends on where people live and how states choose to implement the law. If a family lives in a state that successfully implements one of the waivers allowed by BCRA, access to comprehensive benefits could be compromised or go away entirely.” (B)
Is the individual health insurance market collapsing because of ObamaCare?
“Early results from 2017 suggest the individual market is stabilizing and insurers in this market are regaining profitability. Insurer financial results show no sign of a market collapse. First quarter premium and claims data from 2017 support the notion that 2017 premium increases were necessary as a one-time market correction to adjust for a sicker-than-expected risk pool. Although individual market enrollees appear on average to be sicker than the market pre-ACA, data on hospitalizations in this market suggest that the risk pool is stable on average and not getting progressively sicker as of early 2017. Some insurers have exited the market in recent years, but others have been successful and expanded their footprints, as would be expected in a competitive marketplace.” (C)
“Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a fierce opponent of the Senate healthcare bill, reportedly said she will kill the legislation if it comes down to her.
“I only see it through the lens of a vulnerable population who needs help, who I care about very deeply,” she said during an interview with Politico that was published Sunday. “So that gives me strength. If I have to be that one person, I will be it.”
Capito, who represents a state that President Trump won by large margins, reportedly expressed concern about the bill’s impact on Medicaid recipients, especially those afflicted by the opioid crisis.
The West Virginia lawmaker also pointed to fears of lost coverage that could occur in her home state, the newspaper reported. (D)
Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday that he thought his party’s health care bill was on course for failure.
“My view is it’s probably going to be dead,” the Arizona Republican said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled a bill that had been written behind closed doors by a group of Republican senators.
McConnell decided not to call a vote on the measure before the Senate’s break for the
McCain was critical of the process and said the Republicans should “go back to the beginning” and include both parties in the deliberations, letting Democrats have amendments considered to the bill.
“Introduce a bill,” McCain said. “Bring it to the floor. Vote on it. That’s the normal process, and if you shut out the adversary or the opposite party, you’re going to end up the same way Obamacare did when they rammed it through with 60 votes. Only guess what? We don’t have 60 votes.” (E)
“Like Republican lawmakers, some of the groups have found that fixing complex legislation is far more challenging than opposing it. “It’s easier to generate a crowd when you don’t have to be in on the sausage-making,” said Adam Brandon, the president of FreedomWorks.
“The Democrats, their strategy is outrage,” he said. “I get that strategy. I lived that strategy. It’s a unifying strategy to be outraged at the other guy. The hard part is when you get in and have to deliver.”” (F)
(A) President Trump Wants to Pass Health Care Bill by August. But GOP Senators Are Skeptical, by Hope Yen, http://time.com/4851367/donald-trump-gop-senators-health-care-bill-august-deadline/
(B) Health system CEOs: Senate bill will not resolve healthcare challenges, by Anthony R. Tersigni, http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/healthcare/341146-health-system-ceos-senate-bill-will-not-resolve-healthcare
(C) Individual Insurance Market Performance in Early 2017, Cynthia Cox and Larry Levitt, http://files.kff.org/attachment/Issue-Brief-Individual-Insurance-Market-Performance-in-Early-2017
(D) GOP senator: If I have to be that one person to kill healthcare bill, I will, by Olivia Beavers, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/341197-wva-republican-if-i-have-to-be-that-one-person-to-kill-healthcare-bill-i-will
(E) McCain: GOP health care bill ‘probably’ will die, by Eli Watkins, http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/09/politics/john-mccain-health-care/index.html
(F) Why Obamacare’s Loudest Critics Aren’t as Loud Anymore, by Kate Zernikejuly, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/health/why-obamacares-loudest-critics-arent-as-loud-anymore.html?smid=fb-nytpolitics&smtyp=cur