Sunday, 26 February, 2017

PAUL RYAN: Obamacare repeal bill is coming next week

House Freedom Caucus call for quick Obamacare repeal vote could stall progress The Republican Party Is Beginning to Fracture over Obamacare
Stacy Diaz | 17 February, 2017, 01:00

Although GOP leaders can pass legislation without Democratic support in the House, they will need help from Democrats to pass a replacement plan in the Senate. They appeared unfazed by the mounting concerns of consumers, insurers, health care executives and governors that the GOP may be headed down a treacherous path. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who chairs one of the committees with jurisdiction over repeal, told TPM.

"We made a commitment to the American people to repeal this law - we must keep that promise", the caucus said in a statement Tuesday morning. It is about people's lives.

Brady and Walden's replacement plan calls for an increase in the maximum contribution Americans can make to their health savings accounts. "This law is in a collapse, and we have an obligation to rescue people from that collapse", he declared.

"After the House returns following the Presidents Day break, we intend to introduce legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare", Ryan said.

So far, like numerous other proposals discussed in Thursday's meeting, the details of how the cap would be structured are vague. Republicans support common-sense health care reform. That's because of the GOP's seemingly unstoppable 247 to 188 seat majority in the lower chamber, in contrast to the Republicans' narrow 52 to 48 seat majority in the Senate. Congressional Republicans can not put off decisions about Obamacare much longer without imperiling the timetable for everything else they need to do.

Those options may not be enough to appease a growing number of Republicans who insist the repeal bill should go at least as far as a measure approved by Congress in 2015. Both the job-killing employer mandate and the middle-class-killing individual mandate would be immediately gone through simple repeal. Ryan indicated that tax credits for consumers are likely to replace the government subsides now provided to about 85% of Americans who purchase their health coverage from the Obamacare exchanges.

"I think to suggest we could pass it in 2015 but it's more hard to do it in 2017 makes for a very hard argument for anyone as to why they changed their position and were willing to vote for it then but not now", Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said during a briefing with reporters.

Paul said Republican promises to repeal the controversial law were a big reason for the party's Senate gains in 2014 and again previous year.

Efforts of congressional Republicans to reach consensus on how to replace the Affordable Care Act got more complicated Wednesday.

Then, it maps out four key components of a replacement: modernize Medicaid, use State Innovation Grants, expand health savings accounts, and provide portable, monthly tax credits.

Fearing that their more moderate peers are getting jittery in the face of deteriorating public sentiment, conservative Republicans are gearing up for a major push to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement program, intent on forcing cooperation across the aisle. The House Freedom Caucus endorsed the bill and is calling for an immediate repeal of the ACA through the 2015 reconciliation package. "And full repeal means not taking the taxes" from people. "From a political standpoint, we Republicans know that we will own whatever the replacement will be, just as Obama and the Democrats own the A.C.A.", Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin, said at a recent town hall. "So this step by step approach will rescue people from Obamacare's collapse and give every American access to affordable, quality health care".