If conservatives don’t coalesce behind a new repeal plan soon soon, they will find themselves bystanders as their Republican colleagues link arms with Democrats.
ongressional Republicans were elected to repeal Obamacare. They may run this year as the politicians who saved it. Since late last year, GOP leaders have been planning to pump tens of billions of dollars’ worth of new federal spending into the veins of insurance companies that are hemorrhaging red ink on the Obamacare exchanges.
Health care is the most desired topic for the upcoming State of the Union address: 82% of voters voters want President Trump to discuss improving the health care system.
Health care is also the most important issue for voters in the upcoming 2018 congressional elections, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. A fifth of voters in battleground states consider health care to be their top issue.
The chances of repealing Obamacare this year are fading further, with top Republicans saying they hardly discussed repeal of the law during a Camp David retreat last weekend focused on their 2018 agenda.
Meanwhile, Republicans say talk of welfare or entitlement reform this year is also narrowing down to an emphasis on things like job training, not the broad overhaul of Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements that Democrats have warned against.
The Trump administration on Thursday proposed new rules to let certain small businesses and trade groups band together to buy health care, in its latest move that could weaken Obamacare’s insurance marketplaces.
The expansion of so-called association health plans is part of a broader effort to encourage the rise of cheaper coverage options that are exempt from certain Obamacare patient protections and benefit rules.
Some 8.8 million people have signed up for 2018 coverage on the federal exchange during an open enrollment season that was half the length of prior years and far less promoted, the Trump administration said Thursday. That’s only 400,000 fewer than signed up on healthcare.gov during open enrollment a year ago.
Nearly 2.4 million consumers were new to the exchanges, while more than 6.4 million continued their coverage during the period, which ran from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.
Traffic was heavy in the final days. More than 4.1 million people selected plans in the last five days, including those who were automatically renewed.
Obamacare survived the first year of President Donald Trump, but it’s badly damaged.
The sweeping Republican tax bill on the verge of final passage would repeal the individual mandate in 2019, potentially taking millions of people out of the health insurance market. On top of that, the Trump administration has killed some subsidies, halved the insurance enrollment period, gutted the Obamacare marketing campaign, and rolled out a regulatory red carpet for skimpy new health plans that will change the insurance landscape in ways that are harmful to former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
None of these individually represent a death blow. But in aggregate, the past year adds up to a slow, stealthy erosion of the law.
The injunction comes after state Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a lawsuit against the administration, arguing the changes to the mandate undermine women’s health.
The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has roiled America since the day it was signed into law in 2010. From the start, the public was almost evenly divided between those who supported it and those who opposed it.
They still are. The November monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 50 percent of those polled had a favorable view of the health law, while 46 percent viewed it unfavorably.