Health Care Again, Again: New Health Care Bill Faces Senate and It’s Not Looking Good

Another week in the Senate, another push for an Obamacare replacement. It’s almost becoming a cliché (one that could take away health insurance for tens of millions of America and cut Medicaid to even the rowdiest conservatives). Let me guess, Republicans are having trouble counting on their 52 votes to get something done? Weird. I feel like I’ve covered this once or twice before.

Let me just sum up the thinking behind the Republican vendetta:

  1. Everything Obama is evil. No matter how much Republican input and compromise went into it, it’s all Obama’s fault and there’s no good in it.
  2. Republicans love rich people. Donors, executives, influencers; they will do anything for them. If you look at most of their policies, they’re based on helping the wealthy.
  3. Inversely, Republicans hate poor people. If you can’t give me money, then you don’t get my help. The Affordable Care Act is a problem for them because it assists the impoverished get health care at the expense of giant insurance companies.

The problem again is that the Republican Party is too divided to deliver. As with the last failed attempt a few months ago, some GOP agreed with the plan (most didn’t read it), some thought it went too far (harming people), and some thought it didn’t go far enough (to punish poor people).

The reoccurring theme among the health care bills introduced to Congress this year is doing away with the income-based system [1]. Instead, they are pushing for a system that will give tax credits based on age (with the benefits going towards the wealthy). The individual mandate will also be dropped, because people should have a choice (rah rah rah)! The biggest concern over the recent Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 is the impact on Medicaid [2]. Medicaid has recently surpassed Medicare as the largest public insurance program, now assisting over 70 million Americans. The new bill would introduce a cap on Medicaid that would reduce spending $834 billion over the next 10 years. Saving money sounds good, but the costs will instead be shifted to states (probably worse). Don’t even get me started on the fact that the bill is trying to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, even though federal money has NEVER funded abortions (see Hyde Amendment).

The current tally of opposing Republican senators is at five (remember, they can only lose one to keep the majority with all Democrats obviously voting against). These Senators are Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, and Dean Heller [3]. They are hesitant to vote on the bill’s current draft mostly because it doesn’t fully replace the ACA. As I’m sure you know, they cannot fully “repeal and replace” Obamacare (as promised) with their 52 votes. The new health care act is being pushed as budget reconciliation, requiring only a simple majority. On top of the 5 publicly against, many more are expressing their concerns about the bill; which means they might not even have a majority of Republicans!

As the days pass and we get closer to a potential vote, more Republican senators are refusing to support the recent health care efforts. After some loud town hall meetings, angry emails, and growing support from constituents, these senators are noticing that “maybe this whole Obamacare thing isn’t all bad. The people that voted for me are benefiting quite a bit from the expansions. Perhaps getting rid of all the good things about it isn’t the answer.”

I can’t be the only person in the world to think that this thing is dragging on way too long. Just improve laws and regulations that were already passed instead of a complete overhaul that wastes time and money. Republicans are just upset it bears the name of the most evil person in history (oh wait, they gave the ACA that nickname…). This is just another case of “I’m red, you’re blue; so I hate you” which needs to stop. I assume that after reading the reports and counting the votes (or lack thereof), Senate majority leadership will try to push off the vote for another week.

Written By: CJ Wilcox (@CJWilcox7)

 

1: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/22/15846728/senate-plan-better-care-reconciliation-act

2: http://time.com/4831904/health-care-consumers/

3: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/senate-health-care-bill-faces-serious-resistance-from-gop-moderates/2017/06/24/d6d8cf2e-584d-11e7-ba90-f5875b7d1876_story.html?utm_term=.5b1b64a7895b

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed by this writer are solely his own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Couch Guy Sports, affiliates, or other contributors. Yeah, I’m surprised I can get away with it too.

 

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