Repeal and Don’t Replace: GOP’s New Strategy for Obamacare

President Obama
THZ Photo Library

It was reported late Monday evening that two more Republican Senators were going to oppose voting forward debate on the Senate’s answer to an Obamacare repeal. This essentially killed GOP hopes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Members of the “Resistance,” democrats and the millions of Americans now dependent on the insurance and healthcare access granted them by the ACA/Obamacare breathed only a temporary sigh of relief.

This was followed quickly by President Trump Tweeting that repeal was the only option left. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly released a statement announcing that that was exactly what they would do.

His official statement said: “Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.

So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-oriented health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable healthcare.”

Critics of the GOP repeal efforts continue to argue that the Republicans’ primary focus is actually more about tax breaks for the wealthy and less about accessible and affordable healthcare.

This is supported by a scoring by the impartial Congressional Budget Office, which estimated in January that a total repeal of the ACA would leave 32 million people without insurance within a decade, compared with 23 million estimated for the House’s replacement bill and 14 million for the Senate’s. That report also indicated that all premiums for insurance would rise an estimated 100%. One article from The Washington Post in January reported that without Obamacare, 43,000 people would die each year because of the loss of access to insurance and healthcare.

McConnell hopes to bring up a procedural vote on the House bill which is reportedly similar enough to what was passed but vetoed in 2015, as his statement said.

CNN is reporting that the Majority Leader wants to consult every Republican Senator and have an answer on bringing repeal to a vote as early as Tuesday.

CNN also reports: “This effort is not technically “full repeal.” It is repeal only, no replace, but it’s in no way a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Because of budget rules (and some politics) the 2015 bill this would be modeled after leaves in place large portions of the ACA (most notably, some regulations so loathed by conservatives).”

A vote to move this forward could happen as early as this week.

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