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GOP Health Care Fight Looming As President Stares Down 'First 100 Days" Deadline

by Countable | 4.21.17

As Congress prepares to return to Washington next week following their two-week spring recess, expectations are ramping up that there will be a revised GOP healthcare bill for lawmakers to vote on immediately after their return, although no actual legislative text has been circulated yet.

Some on the left have argued that the push to move the legislation forward so quickly, when a vote on raising the debt ceiling to prevent a government shutdown by April 28 is more pressing, is mainly fueled by the president’s desire to score a "win" before his first 100 days are up at the week’s end. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) remarked, "This latest rehash of Trumpcare is nothing more than a desperate effort to deliver a political win for President Trump after his disastrous first 100 days.”

The tentative plan, as published by Politico, is being coordinated by leaders from both wings of the Republican party — Rep. Mark Meadows (NC) for the Freedom Caucus and Rep. Tom MacArthur (NJ) for the Tuesday Group — and seeks to strike a balance between conservatives and moderates, respectively. Lack of votes from both groups tanked the last attempt to pass the American Health Care Act.

Leaders from the Freedom Caucus would get sought after state waivers from key Obamacare regulations which outline what health insurance plans must cover. States would be able to seek an exemption from the essential health benefits mandate, as well as the community ratings rule, if they can attest that their waiver to pursue an alternate state system is intended to:

"reduce premium costs, increase the number of persons with healthcare coverage, or advance another benefit to the public interest in the state, including the guarantee of coverage for persons with pre-existing medical conditions."

Protections regarding insurance rate hikes based on age or gender would still be in place. Issues around pre-existing conditions would have to be addressed by the creation of state-sponsored "high-risk pools".

Moderate Republicans, on the other hand, would get to maintain many of the patient protections that exist under Obamacare. These include the prohibition on denying coverage due to preexisting medical conditions and gender. Guaranteed coverage and renewability would be continued, as well as coverage of dependents on parents’ plan up to age 26.

Whether or not the rush to vote on legislation is tied to the president’s 100 days deadline, the White House has other leverage to bring to the negotiating table. The administration has yet to sign off on continuing subsidies to offset premium costs for low-income citizens and many insurers are waiting to submit their plans to participate in the state insurance exchanges for 2018 until that decision is announced.

If the president doesn’t agree to pay the subsidies then the system will implode as coverage options dwindle or disappear and rates skyrocket. That potential future may bring both moderate Republicans and Democrats to the negotiating table and provide enough ‘yea’ votes on the legislation to put it over the 216-vote threshold.

Until actual legislation reaches lawmakers’ desks for review, however, no one will be able to vote on anything. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) promised Wednesday that GOP leaders are putting the "finishing touches" on a final health care proposal.

What do you think of this GOP health care compromise plan? Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: NIHClinical Center via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(580)
  • 10SecondKO
    04/21/2017
    ···

    Healthcare should not be viewed as a race against the clock, or to get a "win" for the president. It should be viewed as legislation to help as many Americans as possible.

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  • Beverly
    04/21/2017
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    There you go again... racing to come up with what will surely be a poorly crafted plan JUST for the sake of repealing Obamacare before Trump's 100 days when you've had YEARS to create a proper one. Take your time, do it right, and you'll regain some of the trust and respect we once had in our government.

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  • Mike
    04/21/2017
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    With the popularity of the ACA at 67% or better, it seems foolish to repeal it. Also, you may regret this come election time. Please do not disenfranchise your poorest constituents and senior because of sociopaths running the government. Please use your power and influence for good, rather than Ill. And please spare me the condescending and patronizing letters. Let's talk straight, shall we?

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  • Charlene
    04/21/2017
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    Healthcare is a necessity. It is not a luxury

    Like (106)
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  • Ben
    04/21/2017
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    No repeal, either fix the ACA or give us Medicare for all. Do not repeal.

    Like (98)
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  • Chuck
    04/21/2017
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    This will still throw millions off of coverage and while coming out just as insurance companies are deciding whether to stay in the market will also lead to higher premiums due to uncertainties it will cause. This last minute push is being done only to give Trump an appearance of having a "win" in his first 100 days. How you vote will be remembered come 2018!

    Like (91)
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  • Sharon
    04/21/2017
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    Don't let them ram this through. Healthcare is not a pawn - it's life or death.

    Like (85)
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  • Daphne
    04/21/2017
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    Your job is to make things better for the highest, most vulnerable number of people. If you repeal Obamacare without replacing it with a useful, efficient single-payer method of health care, we're going to make sure you and every coward who gives in to Trumps's spoiled, ignorant tantrums joins the ranks of vulnerable and needy. Since you don't appear to have a conscience, we'll act as one for you.

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  • Julie
    04/21/2017
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    I oppose any effort to repeal the protections found in the aca, including those concerning individuals with preexisting conditions...

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  • Betsy
    04/21/2017
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    As a physician and a public health professional, I am deeply concerned by efforts to push through a health reform bill on the Executive Chamber's timeframe in an effort to help Trump score political points. *Most* Americans know that healthcare is complicated. Congressional representatives and Senators need to take the time to fully review and debate healthcare reform. This should not be rushed!

    Like (53)
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  • Sam
    04/21/2017
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    Unless something objectively better (i.e. covers more people at lower rates and insures those with pre-existing conditions and prevents insurance companies from "playing games"), then the ACA should be left in place and the exchanges should be supported (not subverted).

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  • Patricia
    04/21/2017
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    I depend on the ACA for lifesaving healthcare for my T1 diabetes. The cost of my care has skyrocketed thanks to industry/devices - we need universal healthcare.

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  • fbrodya
    04/21/2017
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    I have cancer and this so called health plan will bury people like me. By tacking on an annual $142,000 penalty on top of an insurance premium for people with imetastatic cancer, you will be signing their death warrant. Women who have an event free pregnancy will pay more than $17,000 on top of their premium for the privilege of giving birth. How is any of this not evil? At best it's merely cruel and discriminatory. By giving states the option of covering pre-existing conditions, I can guarantee you red states will choose to flush these folks down the toilet. When you read the list of what constitutes a pre-existing condition, at least one in three Americans qualify. This bill is far worse than the one before, and that one was terrible. You have got to stop trying to repeal the affordable care act. Work with Democrats to make it better. Take care of all your people, not just the rich.

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  • Patty
    04/21/2017
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    Until single pay is the subject, I don't want to hear it. Stop wasting tax payers money and time on some so called wonderful health care bill. You've had years to come up with something better than ACA, and can't do it.

    Like (29)
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  • KXSLP
    04/21/2017
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    Stop this mess. Stop hurting people who aren't rich. Stop trying to screw over people who are sick as if it's a value judgement instead of a part of life. Stop. Hurting. People. Please vote against this rampant stupidity and these Kindergarten fixes for a grown up problem.

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  • Cindi
    04/21/2017
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    Universal Single-Payer Healthcare. All polls show that a majority of US citizens are in favor of this. We nurses agree!

    Like (26)
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  • Courtney
    04/21/2017
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    Stop giving into a bully and putting millions at risk. Take care of the people you're supposed to be representing, not the president

    Like (22)
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  • Nicola
    04/21/2017
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    PLEASE PLEASE don't change the pre-existing conditions!

    Like (20)
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  • Leanna
    04/21/2017
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    My Congressman has promised that we will get to read and digest fully any plan that is introduced. If a vote is forced quickly then I expect a No vote from all of my reps. You promised

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  • Becky
    04/21/2017
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    Single payer ,fix the ACA , reign in the insurance costs ,prescription costs , no penalty for pre existing issues, Medicaid for all !!

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