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Republican Health Care Plan Isn't Done Yet, But It's Taking A Break

by Countable | 4.6.17

The White House was hoping to have a healthcare plan ready to vote on before Congress left for a two week Easter break starting Thursday afternoon, but it’s not happening. The two ideological ends of the political spectrum within the House GOP, represented by the moderate Tuesday Group and the conservative Freedom Caucus, have not been able to come together. It’s questionable whether a two week break will change the reality of the divides in the party, but leaders on both sides continue to show up for negotiations and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) informed members that they may be recalled early from their vacation if a deal is reached.

Considering they’ve campaigned on repealing the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) since 2010, they can’t afford to give up the fight politically. Leaders are hoping that returning to their districts and having to meet with voters who elected them, in part, on those promises will remind them what’s at stake. Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-NC), said the recess could be a "cooling-off period" during which holdouts could “listen to their constituents and justify their position on this bill.”

"You need people to stop, take a deep breath and think through the way to yes," McHenry said. “Right now, the offerings have diminished votes, not increased them.”

The offerings have focused primarily on two issues that concern many Republicans: essential benefits that mandate the conditions that all insurers have to cover such as maternity care and mental health coverage, and insurers not being able to charge more based on age or state of health, the so-called community rating requirement. The Freedom Caucus members maintain that inflexibility on both points is driving up the cost of insurance for everyone.

The idea of states being able to apply for waivers for these rules as long as they can prove they’re bringing down the cost of care has been central to White House plans floated in negotiation this week, but moderate Republicans fear the waivers will go too far and put folks with pre-existing conditions at risk of being priced out of the market.

The GOP cannot advance any health care plan without support from both wings of the party. It’s not just good politics; it’s also basic math.

When Congress returns they will have to prioritize budget discussions in anticipation of a potential government shutdown on April 28th. They’ll also have to consider a debt ceiling increase and the GOP would like to tackle tax reform. Unless GOP leaders come up with some unforeseen compromise ideas over the Easter recess, healthcare may not stay at the top of the priority list. Or at least not the list of things that can be done.

Should Congress continue to pursue repeal and replacement of the ACA? Tell your representatives what you think using the "Take Action" button!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Architect of the Capitol / Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(59)
  • Rachel
    04/06/2017
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    Healthcare is a human right not a commodity. Time to go to single payer for every American. Anything less is unacceptable.

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  • Linda
    04/07/2017
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    They already have decided the fate of the ACA with or without a replacement. They are in charge of the horse they want to kill. No one was willing to give them the gun, so they will just stop feeding it til it starves to death. Then go, "see, we told you it couldn't stay alive." Vote these people OUT in 2018 and any and all special elections now!! It's our only hope to restoring checks and balances.

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  • Cathy
    04/06/2017
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    This plan is worse than the last one. The only option for a change is a single payer system. Medicare for all, we need to take profit out of healthcare. Only those who don't care about the people they serve would support this bill.

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  • Frankie
    04/07/2017
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    Who knew health insurance could be so complicated? Says a man who has NEVER HAD TO WORRY ABOUT A SINGLE MEDICAL BILL IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE

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  • Kenneth
    04/06/2017
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    I agree something must be done to fix some issues with Obamacare, however repealing it is not the answer. There are many things that can be done to resolve these issues. Democrats say they have some ideas to help and are willing to work with republicans on this. I would ask you to reach across the isle to one of your fellow legislators to hear what they have to say. You know as well as I do that repealing this law is a loosing position and nothing more than giving the middle finger to President Obama and the Democrats for being able to pass it.

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  • Desiree
    04/07/2017
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    Horrible efforts. Medicare for all. GOP will be voted out of office. Just wait.

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  • Caitlyn
    04/06/2017
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    Health care is a human right. I strongly support the ACA, but it does need to be modified for the healthy Americans to get on board. I recommend looking at Japan's health care system. Please do not throw away the progress that has been made under the Obama administration simply to find a conservative replacement that is just as, or more, flawed.

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  • Djramos
    04/07/2017
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    Please, call it like it is, next time the GOP brings up a health care plan let's name it " We Don't Care, Health Care". As if they care about us. All I can see is bigger profits for the corporations. We, the American public, can shut up and sit down while their stocks go up.

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  • Karen
    04/07/2017
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    Good grief . Is there not something else that needs doing for the last seven years ? Quit wasting time and money and work on team building

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  • Dalton
    04/06/2017
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    I voted for Trump but I am not in favor of his health plan

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  • ThinkIndependently
    04/06/2017
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    Healthcare is more than a human right - it's a responsibility. Nothing is free. Those who can pay do so for those who can't. This has always been the way. People MUST be required to carry health insurance, and have access to affordable policies. If the government isn't collecting a tax, the Insurance companies are raising the premiums. How can Republicans be so ignorant as not to realize this?

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  • Milly
    04/07/2017
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    How about Universal Health Care. Or at the very least improve on the Affordable Care Act.

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  • Jill
    04/06/2017
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    From what little I've heard, this go around sounds even worse than the first one. The problem is that the Freedom Caucus doesn't believe that health care is a fundamental right for all Americans. They seem to believe that it's not the government's job to take care of its people, but they won't say that. Listen to the podcast "Pod Save America" for an interesting take on what's going on.

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  • Carole
    04/06/2017
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    Your party has complained from its conception of the ACA, it appears this is what you only know how to do. After seven years to make a plan that would fit the people who need it and the corporations you seem to work for, we think you should have come up with a plan that would have satisfied the people who have Need of using it. This in and of itself, shows us how inept your party has been for far too long. If change doesn't happen faster, I will not support your reelection.

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  • Lee
    04/07/2017
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    Please. Why are we fixated on repealing and replacing? The ACA is helping my family and others like mine. It needs work, yes, but why not build on what's there? Is the need to stay true to a principle more important than actually serving the people? The repeal and replace obsession demonstrates a lack of creativity, of openness to change, and a lack of interest in hearing what constituents actually want. Don't be bullied by the freedom caucus and expand affordable health care to all!

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  • Vivian
    04/06/2017
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    Republicans should immediately HAULED all efforts to repeal the ACA. The American people have spoken, we love the ACA!

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  • Chuck
    04/07/2017
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    Trumpcare 2.0 needs to die the swift death first version did. Get repeal off the table and fix the problems that are in ACA.

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  • Jill
    04/06/2017
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    Just got a little more info. This version will throw a lot more people under the bus.

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  • John
    04/06/2017
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    Let's get beyond all the shenanigans here. Health-care is a human right period. It is time for single payer.

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  • Martin
    04/06/2017
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    Republicans have proven they can't draft anything as good for the American people as the current ACA. So make what we have better.

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