Former President Barack Obama hailed the political resilience of his signature health care law at a private event Thursday, pointing out that Obamacare is now more popular than his successor trying to repeal it: President Donald Trump.
As Republicans in Washington sputtered again this week in their efforts to undo the law, Obama noted to an audience in midtown Manhattan that “the Affordable Care Act has never been more popular — and it’s more popular than the current president,” according to a person in the room who paraphrased the comments.
House Republicans are mounting yet another effort to tear down Obamacare and remake the health care system — but the path to delivering on one of the GOP’s longest-standing priorities remains complicated and fraught with uncertainty.
House GOP leadership is working furiously to rally support for its Obamacare repeal bill amid threats of a government shutdown, rebellion within its ranks and dire warnings about the consequences for the nation’s most vulnerable Americans. The Trump administration and Republican leaders contend they’re drawing closer to a deal. Still, the situation is more fluid than ever.
Ending one of the private insurance subsidies created by Obamacare to help more than 7 million people pay for their coverage would end up costing — not saving —the federal government money, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation released Tuesday.
That’s because stopping subsidies for out-of-pocket costs like deductibles would indirectly increase the cost of a broader subsidy that helps reduce monthly premium costs.
Back when the GOP was selecting its nominee for president last year, I warned my Republican friends that on ObamaCare, Donald Trump might be worse than Hillary Clinton:
Good ol’ partisanship would stop Hillary Clinton from expanding ObamaCare even a little. A faux opponent like Trump could co-opt congressional Republicans to expand it a lot.
I even quipped that a President Trump might sell out ObamaCare opponents for 10 feet of border wall.
It looks like my prediction was eerily accurate. Even as the House Republican leadership and President Trump claim they are moving legislation that would repeal and replace ObamaCare (it wouldn’t), Trump is offering to expand ObamaCare in return for Democratic cooperation in funding a new border wall.
House Republicans are throwing cold water on hopes there will be a vote next week on a revived ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), co-chairman of the centrist Tuesday Group, are nearing a deal on changes to the bill, and the White House is eager for a victory before President Trump’s 100th day in office, on April 29.
But GOP aides and some lawmakers say it seems doubtful the deal, as presented by MacArthur, could win approval in the House.
Just when Americans thought the Obamacare repeal effort was dead and buried, President Donald Trump has exhumed it. The president says he wants a deal on health care before moving on to tax reform and other priorities. The White House is pushing for another vote on a new bill in the coming days.
The trouble is, Trump hasn’t publicly demonstrated an ability to add or subtract provisions, or assemble a bipartisan coalition, to make a good deal happen.
The White House is pushing for another showdown vote on repealing Obamacare next week, to coincide with President Donald Trump’s hitting the 100-day milestone in office.
Legislative text of a new deal that could revive the House Republican bid to repeal Obamacare is likely to be circulated Friday “or by the weekend,” according to two senior White House officials, with an eye toward holding a House floor vote next Wednesday or Thursday.
The Obamacare marketplaces can be thought of as a government-run store. The government gives many customers subsidies, like gift cards, that they can use to buy insurance. But what happens if no companies want to sell their products in the store?
That is the problem that could face Obamacare customers if no insurance carriers show up in a given area, a risk policy makers call the bare-market problem. That risk is growing as the administration sends negative signals about the future of the market. If all the insurers start leaving some stores, consumers there will find their options dwindling, and then their subsidies will become worthless. Most would end up uninsured. The problem could affect as few as dozens of customers — or spread more broadly to affect a substantial fraction of the approximately 11 million people currently enrolled in Obamacare coverage.
On the day the House Republican leadership pulled the plug on its plan to replace Obamacare, President Trump initially responded by saying that the best political move might be to just step back and let the law “explode.”
“It is exploding right now,” he said.
The coming weeks will reveal just how much the president is willing to step forward and nudge the law into collapse. While health care experts disagree on how fragile the Affordable Care Act is on its own, they agree that Mr. Trump has the power to hasten its demise.
The Trump administration released limited fixes Thursday for shaky health insurance markets, even as it reaffirmed its goal of dismantling the Obama-era healthcare law that created them and that covers millions of Americans.
Republicans contend that the Affordable Care Act — also called the ACA or Obamacare — is beyond repair, but their “repeal and replace” slogan hasn’t been easy to put into practice, nor politically popular. So the administration is taking steps to keep the existing system going even as it pursues its ambition of a total remake.
Many of the changes announced Thursday follow recommendations from insurers, which wanted the government to address shortcomings with HealthCare.gov markets, including complaints that some people are gaming the system by signing up only when they get sick and then dropping out after being treated.