For Linda Dearman, the House vote last week to repeal the Affordable Care Act was a welcome relief.
Ms. Dearman, of Bartlett, Ill., voted for President Trump largely because of his contempt for the federal health law. She and her husband, a partner in an engineering firm, buy their own insurance, but late last year they dropped their $1,100-a-month policy and switched to a bare-bones plan that does not meet the law’s requirements. They are counting that the law will be repealed before they owe a penalty.
“Now it looks like it will be, and we’re thrilled about that,” Ms. Dearman, 54, said. “We are so glad to feel represented for a change.”
Within hours of reconvening Tuesday, the GOP-led Congress will finally act to fulfill a 2010 promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
The effort is set to begin Tuesday afternoon when the House Rules Committee meets on the repeal measure, with a full debate and vote as early as Tuesday. With the Republican-led Senate having already passed its version, GOP congressional leaders will send the measure to President Obama, daring him to veto it.
If there is one thing both Republicans and Democrats agree on in Washington, D.C., its that the stakes are high in the matter of King v. Burwell, pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. A case which could obliterate the Affordable Care act as we know it. According to the Hill report, “Both parties have acknowledged that a plaintiff victory could force a rewrite of the entire law.”
In the interim, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R – Utah, who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee plans (according to the Hill, online, 2/24) will ultimately unveil a “backup plan” for Obamacare in case the Supreme Court finds against the law, as it well could in the summer of this year.
Republicans also view a high court striking of Obamacare as their “best chance of undoing Obamacare,” according to the Hill article by Sarah Ferris, who frequently writes about healthcare and politics for that publication.
According to the Hill.com, high level conservatives are pressing Republican leadership to bring an Obamacare “replacement bill” to a vote by the August recess. Conservatives applauded when Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) swore to a vote in January. Ten weeks later, no alternative GOP plan has emerged, not even an outline form of what it might look like.
Avik Roy, a former advisor to Mitt Romney, now a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, believes (according to the Hill.com) its possible Obamacare will be fully repealed. An improved alternative for Republicans is to retain the insurance exchanges but restructure them so they operate in a more market-oriented manner to accommodate individuals on Medicare or Medicaid. It could also possibly make them more fiscally sound.