Repealing Obamacare: The Congressional Struggle

Thursday, February 22, 2018 20:37 Posted by Admin

Back in May, the House passed a bill to repeal ObamaCare, but the progress made since then has been anything but smooth.  In fact, the trajectory of completely overturning the Affordable Care Act has been all but suspended.  Republicans have presented a variety of options, and not one has resonated well with the American people.  Analysts warn that pushing something so unpopular through would inevitably lead to political suicide.  Although it does have its flaws, ObamaCare has really made a positive impact on the healthcare sector, and the GOP is being forced to recognize the inherent benefits it provides.  In not being able to come up with a viable alternative, the Republican party is essentially unable to deliver on one of the chief premises purported during this last election.  However, because of the struggle, the GOP is beginning to recognize that although a complete repeal would be difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish, a bipartisan effort for a more cohesive healthcare system is a much more popular alternative.

The GOP has not completely halted their efforts though, and just this week, they did bring yet another bill before the Senate.  This newest bill, known as the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017,” can be viewed in its entirety here.  Currently, the Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the Senate, but multiple Republican representatives have already gone on record stating their mistrust for the newest measure, so there is a good chance that this bill will not even be up for debate.  The issue that most opponents have with the most recent version is the near decimation of Medicaid, and the potential to leave 22 million Americans uninsured over the next decade.  In addition, they have included Senator Ted Cruz’s controversial plan to allow insurance companies to sell policies that don’t even cover the bare minimum benefits that were considered essential under ObamaCare standards.

 

 

In an attempt to possibly sway some conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans, the most recent version of this act does enforce certain taxes imposed on the wealthy which are already in play due to ObamaCare.  There is also a promise of $45 billion in funding to help with the opioid crisis that affects so many Senate members’ home states.  Unfortunately, the latter is all but negated by the cuts to Medicaid which could potentially aggravate the crisis tenfold if this act does indeed move forward.  The outlook is not good at this point and the odds that the bill will be killed before it even has a chance are pretty high, and the Republicans will be forced to go back to the drawing board.

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