GOP Considers Keeping Obamacare Taxes

Senators are seriously considering keeping in place some ObamaCare taxes for longer than the House-passed bill would as they seek to draft healthcare legislation that can pass their chamber with a simple majority.

Republicans are looking to slowly phase out extra federal funds for Medicaid expansion, beef up the new tax credits for buying insurance and add money for opioid abuse treatment — but they’ll have to pay for it to ensure the bill passes muster.

That’s because the Senate healthcare bill must save at least as much money as the House’s legislation.

Read more at The Hill

Abortion Restrictions Threaten Senate GOP’s Obamacare Repeal Push

A key part of Senate Republicans’ new health care bill could get derailed over abortion restrictions, according to several GOP sources, a potential setback in their effort to repeal Obamacare.

Republicans want to enact new tax subsidies to help people buy insurance on the exchanges — but they want to include prohibitions on abortion coverage. The House had seemed to settle the matter, when both more centrist and conservative GOP senators accepted language that follows the Hyde amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion.

Read more at Politico

Crunch Time as Senate Republicans Race the Clock on Obamacare Repeal

President Trump summoned Republican leaders to the White House on Tuesday to discuss his summer legislative agenda, but progress is being stalled by the GOP’s inability to fulfill its long promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Lacking a consensus over how to gut the Affordable Care Act without leaving millions more Americans uninsured — as the House GOP’s bill would do — Senate Republicans now face a legislative logjam that could imperil other priorities, such as tax reform and infrastructure.

Read more at The Los Angeles Times

An Insurer Just Made Obamacare’s Nightmare Scenario Worse, and It Could Be ‘the Tip of the Iceberg’

Anthem on Tuesday announced it would not participate in the individual health-insurance exchanges in Ohio for the 2018 plan year. That could leave 20 counties in the state without any plans on the marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare.

In a statement to Business Insider, Anthem cited “continual changes in federal operations, rules, and guidance” as its primary reason for exiting the marketplaces.

The insurer said disruptions in the market because of possible policy changes from the Trump administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill led to the decision.

Read more at Business Insider

Top Republican Says Senate Will Repeal and Replace Obamacare “by the End of July”

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said Wednesday that the Senate will pass a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare before Congress leaves on its annual August recess.

In an interview on KFYO’s “The Chad Hasty Show,” the Texas Republican was asked if the Senate could get a repeal and replace plan by the end of the year done.

“Oh, absolutely,” Cornyn said. “We’ll get it done by the end of July at the latest.”

Cornyn said he suspects the upper chamber will resolve the health care issue “in the next few weeks” and that lawmakers have “no choice” but to tackle it since, he said, “Obamacare is in meltdown.”

Read more at CBS

Obamacare Must Either Die or Take Over Completely

Democrats are crowing over the Congressional Budget Office projection that the House-passed health care bill would leave 23 million fewer Americans with insurance as of 2027 than if ObamaCare stayed intact — while ignoring the fact that ObamaCare can’t remain intact.

That is, the CBO guesstimates are comparing the GOP bill to a fantasy.

We’ve written before of how insurers are fleeing the ObamaCare exchanges because they’re losing too much money. If the law goes unchanged, the nation will soon start seeing “insurance deserts” where no one’s offering exchange coverage. The CBO doesn’t account for that.

Read more at the New York Post

Obamacare Rates Could Be Nearly 20 Percent Higher Next Year Just From Administration Delay on Subsidy Case

  • Insurers have to propose their 2018 Obamacare prices in coming weeks.
  • Uncertainty over the fate of key Obamacare subsidies is expected to lead to higher prices.
  • Insurers also could leave the individual health plan market because of that uncertainty.

Read more at CNBC

A Flashpoint in the Battle to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

For a myopic view of Obamacare’s effect on small business, one can look at its results in Louisville, Kentucky. The state saw one of the biggest drops in uninsured individuals under the Affordable Care Act, from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 7.8 percent in 2016, largely in part to the state’s expansion of Medicaid. The state operated its own Obamacare marketplace for two years before moving to the federal exchange in 2017, where today only three insurance companies offer coverage on exchange.

Of late, Louisville has become a flashpoint for the GOP to tout its plans to repeal and replace, with visits from both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in recent months to talk about why the ACA isn’t working in the state, or elsewhere.

Read more at CNBC

Democrats Demand Answers on Trump Threats to Sabotage Obamacare Insurance Markets

With concerns rising over the future of financial aid for low-income Americans who rely on Obamacare, senior congressional Democrats have asked the Trump administration for information on talks in which health insurance officials say a senior administration official linked the aid to the industry’s support for House Republican legislation to roll back the healthcare law.

The talks, first reported by The Times last week, occurred in April when a group of industry leaders met with Seema Verma, a President Trump appointee who heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and oversees Obamacare insurance markets.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times

Obamacare Premiums Are Going Up. Whose Fault Is It?

Another year of big premium increases and dwindling choice is looking like a distinct possibility for many consumers who buy their own health insurance — but why, and who’s to blame?

President Donald Trump has seized on early market rumbles as validation of his claim that “Obamacare” is a disaster, collapsing of its own weight. Democrats, meanwhile, accuse Trump of “sabotage” on a program he’s dissed and wants to dismantle.

Read more at NBC News