GOP, the Party of Healthcare? What is Taking So Long?

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Affordable Care Act

Health Editor’s Note:  Trump and the republicans wanted/want desperately to do away with ACA (Affordable Care Act, Obamacare) which started working for most Americans during the Obama presidency years.  More people were gaining access to healthcare. Some important background here:  Since the ACA became a federal statute, which was enacted by the 111th U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Obama, and along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, these measures represented the most intensive overhaul and expansion of coverage since the 1965 passage of Medicare and Medicaid.

Major changes in individual insurance markets started to hold insurance companies accountable. No longer were “pre-existing” conditions to be used as reasons for Americans to be denied health insurance coverage. Obamacare, Affordable Care Act (ACA) works by directing that everyone obtain health insurance or pay a tax. ACA provides subsidies for middle-income families and expands Medicaid to cover more low-income people. The ACA can pay for its subsidies by taxing high-income families and some healthcare providers. Healthcare costs were supposed to be decreased with a decrease in overall healthcare spending. Insurers in the individual markets must now accept all applications and cannot charge more or less for pre-existing conditions or for the gender of the individual.  

Trump and his party keep America on edge with the threat (they would say promise) that these positive healthcare measures can do away. They keep talking about a revamp of the ACA.  The “pre-existing” factor is a huge worry for Americans. Pretty much everyone has a “pre-existing” medical condition…Those who think they can do better for Americans and how Americans can afford and receive their healthcare  should either put up or shut up, like immediately. Americans who need healthcare do not have time to waste …Carol

GOP the ‘Party of Healthcare’? Trump Says Yes
—-but others have doubts

by Joyce Frieden, New Editor, MedPage Today

WASHINGTON — The Republican Party will be the “party of healthcare,” even if it takes a little while — at least according to President Trump.

The past week or so has brought some head-turning developments in the healthcare wars on Capitol Hill. First, on March 25, Trump’s Justice Department filed a letter in support of a lawsuit by a group of Republican attorneys seeking to overturn the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA). The next day, asked about how he would respond to Americans concerned about their health insurance in the wake of the letter, Trump commented, “Let me tell you exactly what my message is: The Republican Party will soon be known as the ‘Party of Healthcare,'” he said. “You watch.”

 

But on Tuesday, the president seemed to walk back his commitment to healthcare reform — or at least slow it down. “The Republicans … are developing a really great HealthCare Plan with far lower premiums (cost) & deductibles than ObamaCare. In other words it will be far less expensive & much more usable than ObamaCare. Vote will be taken right after the [2020] Election when Republicans hold the Senate & win … back the House. It will be truly great HealthCare that will work for America. Also, Republicans will always support Pre-Existing Conditions. The Republican Party will be known as the Party of Great HealthCare [sic],” he wrote in a series of tweets.

This was likely a great relief to congressional Republicans, few of whom seemed to want to revisit healthcare reform after their plan to do so narrowly failed in 2017. “I look forward to seeing what the president is proposing and what he can work out with the speaker,” McConnell said in a brief interview with Politico last Thursday, adding, “I am focusing on stopping the ‘Democrats’ Medicare for none’ scheme.” McConnell said he told Trump on Monday — the day before Trump’s tweets — that the Senate would be working on legislation to lower healthcare costs, but would not be working on any replacements for the ACA.


Then on Tuesday, McConnell told reporters that — in light of Democrats’ control of the House — the Senate also would not take up comprehensive healthcare legislation until after the next elections.

“It’s exceedingly prudent for the Republicans to slow down any promise with regard to their own health plan,” Gail Wilensky, PhD, senior fellow at Project HOPE, in Bethesda, Maryland, said in an interview. “I thought it would have been abundantly clear with their failed efforts at ‘repeal and replace’ that it’s much easier to attack something when you’re out of power than to put together an alternative when you’re not unified as to what an alternative should look like. It certainly cost them seats in the 2018 election.”

“Republicans don’t do well on healthcare,” added Wilensky, who served as administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under President George H.W. Bush. “It’s not one of their issues. Healthcare and Social Security are Democratic issues; they always have been — defense and taxation are Republican issues.”

Trump’s flip-flop on health reform “says that even when he acts alone without consideration of his party, you can reach him from time to time,” said Julius Hobson Jr., JD, senior policy advisor at Polsinelli, a consulting firm here. “He needed to be reminded that Democrats beat Republicans with the healthcare baseball bat all the way through the 2018 campaign, and that’s how they picked up 40 seats in the House.”

“He needed to understand that, by taking the position he was taking, he was putting congressional Republicans in the same position for 2020, where Democrats have a shot — although a real slim one — at taking the Senate back,” Hobson said. “Healthcare is the thing that scares people, and he set them up.”

So what happens now? Each party likely will go back to criticizing each others’ positions on the issue, said Rodney Whitlock, PhD, of McDermott + Consulting here. “It is incredibly ironic that Republicans want to talk about Medicare for All, and Democrats want to talk about Republicans and how they’re constantly trying to undermine preexisting condition protections.”

“It will be interesting to see if any Republicans want to try to take the field and define what is the new or current ideology in healthcare,” he said. In particular, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) will be interesting to observe, since the ACA was modeled after the system he pushed through in Massachusetts, Whitlock noted.

In any case, “the president’s comments over the past week set up a showdown between Republicans and Democrats on healthcare in 2020,” Elizabeth Carpenter, senior vice president at the healthcare consulting firm Avalere, said in an email. “Over the coming months, we are likely to see a range of proposals on both sides that demonstrate how various members would address voter concerns about healthcare coverage and costs.”

However, specifics will likely be hard to come by, she added. “The president will focus on distinguishing his vision from the views of his Democratic competitors on the campaign trail, rather than describing any particular plan.”

Meanwhile, McConnell said Tuesday that Senate Republicans would only be proposing healthcare legislation addressing specific issues, such as drug prices.


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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master's of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen - two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie - two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia - and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, two rescue pups, and two guinea pigs.

Carol's Archives 2009-2013

1 COMMENT

  1. Nothing says tyranny like being forced to pay into a for profit mediical plan. The Single Payer system removing payouts to stockholders makes more sense to the consumer. But the consumer has the least amount of say; just take your pain pills and lie down.

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