Donald Trump really, really bigly wants to claim that he is living up to his campaign pledges (he is not) by pursuing his promise to repeal and replace “Obamacare” in his first “100 days,” after he made the mistake of conceding defeat without even a vote a few weeks ago and moving on to tax cuts, which he is kinda (but not really) getting around to this week.
Trump’s problem is that he is negotiating with the wrong people, the far-right radical fringe GOP House Freedom Caucus that wants to return to the “good old days” of pre-Obamacare, and kick millions of Americans off of health care insurance for “state’s rights!”
Remember, for every vote that Trump adds from the GOP House Freedom Caucus he is subtracting votes from the mythical moderate Republicans, especially in the Senate, where he has no margin for error. House Freedom Caucus leaders back new health-care plan:
White House officials and several Republican lawmakers claimed Tuesday they were nearing a deal on health-care legislation with the House Freedom Caucus, with at least three leading figures in the hard-line group ready to support an overhaul after the dramatic collapse of talks last month.
Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Raúl R. Labrador (R-Idaho) — all leaders of the Freedom Caucus and central figures in the latest discussions — signaled Tuesday they are ready to support a new plan, according to two White House officials who were not authorized to speak publicly. A lawmaker close to the Freedom Caucus later confirmed that those members were close to or ready to support the tweaked bill.
Top members of the House Freedom Caucus would say little on Tuesday night about where they stand on the revised measure. Meadows said that he won’t weigh in publicly until after the Freedom Caucus meets Wednesday night, but he praised Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) — co-chairman of the centrist Tuesday Group — and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) for their role in trying to reach consensus.
“I’m obviously very supportive of Tom MacArthur and his efforts and Chairman Walden and his efforts,” Meadows said. “So I can tell you the efforts they have put forth are to be applauded.”
“I may have,” is all Labrador would say when asked whether he has decided to support a revised health-care package. “I have not made a public announcement.”
“We’ve got a meeting tomorrow night!” said Jordan, who refused to elaborate.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), another Freedom Caucus member, stopped short of vouching support for the bill, but said “it seems to me it is going in a very good direction.” He said he needs to see the legislative text before making a final decision.
“I would not be the most shocked person in the building if we voted it this week out of the House,” Franks said.
A top aide to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said he “hasn’t ruled out” a vote on a health-care bill this week, but that his top priority is passing a spending measure to keep the government funded. If consensus on health care were reached, however, the House could move quickly, said spokeswoman AshLee Strong.
“I think we can turn things around quickly if we were to reach an agreement,” she said. “We will see something as soon as we can, but we’re not there right now.”
Top GOP aides said that text of the new bill probably won’t be posted until House Republicans feel confident that they have enough votes to pass the bill.
Representative Charlie Dent (R-PA), co-chair of the Tuesday Group (an assemblage of mythical moderate House Republicans), has made it known that he still doesn’t want anything to do with Zombie Trumpcare. Centrist Republican leader Charlie Dent says he’s still a ‘no’ on Obamacare repeal bill:
Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., leader of the centrist Tuesday Group, has told the Washington Examiner that he still opposes the House Republican healthcare repeal bill, saying that a proposed compromise does not address his key concerns.
Last week, Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a co-chairman of the centrist group, and conservative Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., hashed out the outline of a compromise that would allow states to opt out of more Obamacare regulations while leaving them the default at the federal level.
After noting that he hasn’t seen any legislative language, Dent said, “Based on what I’ve read, it does not change my position. I was a no, and I remain a no.”
Dent said the proposed deal did not address his core concerns regarding Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, which his state elected to participated in and the House bill would aim to phase out. In addition, he said he had concerns about the loss of coverage from repeal and the ability of low-income individuals to access healthcare.
“I took everybody at their word when they said they wanted to reform healthcare and make it better,” he said of his fellow Republicans.
Asked to respond to conservatives who argue that they’re just trying to hold Republicans to their promises to repeal Obamacare and that funding the Medicaid expansion and maintaining the core regulations would not be repeal, Dent said, “By that argument, keeping the ban on pre-existing conditions would not be repealing Obamacare.”
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Conservatives have cited the need to reduce premiums as a reason for supporting stripping out Obamacare regulations, such as mandated health benefits and limits on how much insurers can charge based on health status.
When asked how he would prefer to reduce premiums without removing Obamacare’s regulations, Dent said, “That’s the $64,000 question.”
When pressed further on whether there were any ideas for reducing premiums that have been proposed that he would support, he said he didn’t want to get into a negotiation with a reporter in an interview, though he eventually cited medical liability reform as one idea he could get behind.
Dent complained that, “too much of the conversation has been driven by arbitrary deadlines,” referring to the initial push to pass the legislation last month, on the seventh anniversary of Obamacare becoming law, and the talk of trying to get something done in the first 100 days of the Trump presidency.
And then there is the problem of selling a product to the public that it really dislikes. Public pans Republicans’ latest approach to replacing Affordable Care Act:
In strategy and substance, the American public disagrees with the course that President Trump and congressional Republicans are pursuing to replace the Affordable Care Act with conservative policies, according to a ABC News/Washington Post poll:
Large majorities oppose the ideas at the heart of the most recent GOP negotiations to forge a plan that could pass in the House. These would allow states to choose whether to keep the ACA’s insurance protection for people with preexisting medical problems and its guarantee of specific health benefits.
Public sentiment is particularly lopsided in favor of an aspect of the current health-care law that blocks insurers from charging more or denying coverage to customers with medical conditions. About 8 in 10 Democrats, 7 in 10 independents and even a slight majority of Republicans say that should continue to be a national mandate, rather than an option for states to retain or drop.
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Beyond their criticism of GOP proposals for devolving health policy to the states, many Americans appear leery in general about a major overhaul to the health-care law often called Obamacare, with 61 percent preferring to “keep and try to improve” it, compared with 37 percent who say they want to “repeal and replace” it. About three-quarters of Republicans prefer repealing and replacing the ACA, but more than 6 in 10 independents and nearly 9 in 10 Democrats favor working within its framework.
The GOP’s years-long failure to repeal and replace “Obamacare” is only making it more popular with Americans. Obamacare is Only Getting More Popular Under Donald Trump. “Overall, the Trump administration has been a boon to Obamacare’s popularity.” Karma’s a bitch.
Even if the lunatics in the House somehow manage to pass a Zombie “Trumpcare” bill, it’s not going anywhere in the Senate, and it will only piss off millions of American voters who want to fix “Obamacare,” not destroy it.