“ “They’re going to find they can’t pay for it, they’re going to find that it doesn’t work. . . . Now that will make it tough on everybody. Maybe that’s what it take to wise people up.”
Wednesday is the deadline for insurers to sign contracts with the federal government so that they can sell health plans on the ACA marketplaces for 2018. Many companies are hiking these rates by double digits, but they have suggested they would curb such increases if they had assurances that the federal government would provide cost-sharing reduction payments for all of next year. Those subsidies provide discounts to lower-income customers for their health plan’s deductibles and other out-of- pocket costs.” (A)
“Senate Republicans gave up on their last-ditch bid to repeal Obamacare Tuesday as opposition in their own ranks ended months of fruitless efforts to deliver on a seven-year promise, and leaders said they would turn instead to overhauling the U.S. tax system.
“We don’t have the votes” for the health-care bill, co-sponsor Bill Cassidy of Louisiana told reporters in Washington. “We’ve made the decision, since we don’t have the votes, we’ll postpone that vote.” (B)
“Graham said that “it’s not if but when” Republicans will pass his healthcare bill, but said there was still work to be done before the bill was passed.
“We know what we’re against,” Graham said. “We’ve had a hard time articulating what we’re for.”” (C)
“One idea — which hardly enjoys widespread support at the moment — is to tie both health care and tax reform to the 2018 budget.
Graham and Sen. Ron Johnson, who both sit on the budget committee, have advocated for this idea. It has raised concerns among Republican lawmakers and staff alike who know just how messy that could potentially be. One GOP aide bluntly described that scenario as “a nightmare.” “(D)
“That means the GOP must either work with Democrats to get eight more votes on a healthcare bill or wait for mount another effort under reconciliation rules in either the fiscal year 2018 or 2019 budget.
“Look, we haven’t given up on changing the American healthcare system, we’re not going to do that this week,” McConnell said. “But it still lies ahead of us.”” (E)
“The ACA has helped millions to get health coverage, bringing the number of people without insurance to historic lows and improving both access to care and financial security. But because people at higher incomes don’t qualify for the law’s tax credits, many of them face high premiums and high out-of-pocket costs ― in some cases, more than they paid previously and, in the worst instances, more than they can realistically afford.
Those higher costs are largely a function of the law’s new requirements on insurers ― to cover everybody, regardless of pre-existing conditions, and to provide comprehensive benefits with each policy. Republicans have decried these effects, but every plan they proposed would have left many millions without insurance and gutted protections for pre-existing conditions.” (F)
“Meanwhile, the Trump administration has threatened to stop reimbursing insurers for covering the out-of-pocket costs of low-income customers, as the ACA requires. To hold down premiums in the exchanges, Congress should find a way to spread costs more broadly and guarantee the reimbursements for out-of-pocket costs. And the Trump administration needs to stop treating the exchanges like the enemy and focus instead on helping people get coverage.
With Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson off the table, senators should resume the bipartisan efforts to stabilize the markets that the GOP leadership snuffed last week. And although Paul may still blanch at spending money on healthcare subsidies, most of his colleagues were ready to vote for a proposal that would have dedicated tens of billions of tax dollars to subsidizing coverage and care. It would be hypocritical and cynical for those Republicans to oppose efforts to help the exchange customers who are feeling the pinch now.” (G)
(A) Senate GOP abandons latest effort to unwind the Affordable Care Act, by Juliet Eilperin and Sean Sullivan, http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/senate-gop-abandons-latest-effort-to-unwind-the-affordable-care-act/ar-AAstYYp?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp
(B) GOP Kills Health-Care Bill, Ending Obamacare Repeal Quest, by Laura Litvan and Steven T. Dennis, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-26/senate-gop-drops-obamacare-repeal-effort-for-lack-of-support
(C) IT’S OVER: Republicans will not vote on Graham-Cassidy health care bill, by Bob Bryan, https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/09/26/its-over-republicans-will-not-vote-on-graham-cassidy-health-care-bill/23223713/
(D) Senate won’t vote on GOP health care bill, by Lauren Fox, MJ Lee, Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh, http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/politics/health-care-republican-senate-vote/index.html
(E) IT’S OVER: Republicans will not vote on Graham-Cassidy health care bill, by Bob Bryan, https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/09/26/its-over-republicans-will-not-vote-on-graham-cassidy-health-care-bill/23223713/
(F) The GOP’s Latest Obamacare Repeal Bill Is Dead, , by Jonathan Cohn, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/graham-cassidy-failure_us_59ca9a35e4b07e9ca11f3d1b
(G) Editorial Graham-Cassidy is dead. Now stop treating Obamacare like the enemy and help get Americans health coverage, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-graham-cassidy-dead-20170926-story.html