GOP faces political fallout - Obamacare to 'Trumpcare'

Lauren Perry
May 9, 2017

The Senate has expressed little interest in taking up the bill as it is now written, and the margin of Republicans' majority in the Senate is much narrower.

The first effort by Congressional Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act ended without a vote, and while a bill did pass the U.S. House last week, most observers expect the Senate to substantially rewrite the bill. Legislatures trying to answer it could get ugly.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gleeful at the prospect of potentially reclaiming the House gavel in 2018, told Republicans they will "glow in the dark" over the vote.

CBS's Face The Nation held a focus group of Pennsylvania voters and the message that Trumpcare is going to take away health care for people with pre-existing conditions has already penetrated the public discussions.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME, a moderate Republican whose vote will be critical in getting a bill to Trump's desk, voiced concerns about potential higher costs for older people and those with pre-existing conditions.

The American Health Care Act could cost NY $6.9 billion and ultimately result in untold numbers of people losing insurance coverage, state officials and legislators argue, including 635,000 people in the Essential Plan, which provides coverage for low-income workers who don't qualify for Medicaid at an out-of-pocket cost of as little as $20 a month.

During the presidential campaign, Trump promised not to cut Medicaid and other entitlement programs.

His comment is attracting attention because Australia offers universal health care, which Republicans oppose.

Ryan explained that the AHCA creates high-risk pools for people with chronic diseases and pre-existing conditions, a solution to reforming the health care system without necessarily removing the pre-existing conditions provision in Obamacare. No. 3 Senate GOP leader John Thune of South Dakota is working on a plan to skew the bill's tax subsidies more toward lower-income people.

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Shame on every one of the 217 Republicans who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, and substitute basically nothing.

Both characterized the House's chaotic four months of work on its bill, which saw revolts by conservatives and moderates derail initial versions and humiliate President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. "It is important that our most vulnerable citizens, the aged, the infirm, the blind and the disabled have more choices, greater access and peace of mind when it comes to their healthcare", she said in a statement.

Gillibrand and Schumer's remarks came hours after Trump urged Senate Republicans to support the House plan in a Sunday morning Twitter post.

"I hope that current members of Congress recall that it actually doesn't take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential", he said. Trump tweeted from his private golf course in central New Jersey, where he has stayed since late Thursday.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, speaking to reporters at a regular media briefing, confirmed the president had signed the bill.

Major medical and other organizations, including the American Medical Association, oppose the House bill. Some Senate Republicans, including Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, object to cutting $880 billion from Medicaid.

The White House and its Republican allies praised $15 billion in additional Pentagon spending obtained by Trump and $1.5 billion in emergency spending for border security.

The GOP's 2017 health care bill allows states to waive the community rating requirement so insurers could charge people with pre-existing conditions more.

Other reports by VgToday

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