WASHINGTON, D.C.– The GOP on Thursday unveiled an updated version of the Replace and Repeal Act in an effort to convince Conservatives who are still sitting on the fence to jump on board with their answer to Obamacare.
Their efforts came to a screeching halt, however, as three Republican senators, Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Susan Collins, a moderate from Maine and conservative Rand Paul of Kentucky, announced that they were still not impressed by the revision.
With the revised bill, House majority leader, Mitch McConnell, (R)- Kentucky, had hoped to gain the 50 votes he needs to win Senate passage. But based on the reaction of some ultra right Republicans, the changes may not have been enough to bridge the gap between the Senate’s most staunch Conservatives, who have vowed to drive the current plan into the ground, and more moderate Republicans, who have worked to push the legislation through.
For the most part, the new version of the Bill gave broad concessions to right wing Republicans who had declared the initial draft too similar to the Affordable Care Act, which was passed under the Obama administration. Per the updates, Medicaid sections remain the same, meaning that deeper cuts to the program will still be on track to begin in 2025, and the funds for ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid will still end, as scheduled, in 2024. On the opposite end, The Bill includes new funding, $70 billion over seven years, aimed at easing costs for the chronically sick and seriously ill. The Bill also includes $45 billion to fight opioid addiction, but Senators such as Portman who hails from a state where opioid addiction runs rampant, say they also want changes to the Medicaid portion of the legislation.
Despite McConnell’s efforts to strike a fair balance, the result left both sides less than satisfied.
Senator Ted Cruz, (R)- Texas, who supported the changes in the new revision, expressed concern for the outcome of the Bill amid fallout from his fellow Conservatives.
“I think failing to get this done would be really catastrophic,” Mr. Cruz said on the radio station KFYI, “and I don’t think any of the Republican senators want to see failure come out of this.”
Seemingly unphased by Cruz’s open appeal, the three holdouts stood fast in their vow to delay a vote on the legislation.
“My strong inclination and current intention is to vote no on the motion to proceed,” Collins told reporters after leaving a hearing on the legislation.
“The only way I’d change my mind is if there’s something in the new bill that wasn’t discussed or that I didn’t fully understand or the CBO estimate comes out and says they fixed the Medicaid cuts, which I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Read the updated changes to the Bill via the link below: https://www.scribd.com/document/353689897/BetterCareJuly13-2017#from_embed
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The embattled Republican health care plan faced a serious setback on Thursday as four key Republican leaders again came out in opposition of the bill.
Senators Rand Paul, (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz, (R-Texas), Mike Lee, (R-Utah), and Ron Johnson, (R-Wis.), told the press Thursday morning that they intend to contest the Senate Republican plan in its current form.
“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor,” the foursome said in a released statement. “There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system but it does not appear this draft, as written, will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal ObamaCare and lower their health care costs.”
Paul, who holds a unique perspective on the plan being a physician himself, has been exceptionally vocal in his disapproval of key elements of the bill, particularly refundable tax credits, and has taken his issues with the bill in it’s current form to the president himself.
““I told him, part of my problem is it still looks too much like Obamacare for me,” Paul told The Washington Examiner (http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/22/rand-paul-ted-cruz-mike-lee-and-ron-johnson-oppose/).
“My hope is not to defeat the bill, but to make the bill better,” Paul told a group of waiting reporters in DC. “Now the discussions begin — I think it could take longer than a week.”
Cruz and Lee say their main issue with the bill as written is that it does not do enough to lower premiums for Americans.
“As currently drafted, this bill draft does not do nearly enough to lower premiums. That should be the central issue for Republicans — repealing Obamacare and making health care more affordable,” said Cruz. “It is important to remember that what was released today was only a draft,” he said. “I am hopeful that as we openly debate this legislation, real improvements will be made prior to floor consideration so that we can pass a bill that provides the relief from Obamacare that Republicans have repeatedly promised the last seven years.”
As for Johnson, the Minnesota native says he opposes what he calls the “secretive” drafting process and worries that the Senate might be rushing to a vote.
“I’ve got to talk to the governor, to our state legislators, to doctors, to nurse, to health care providers, to hospitals — and we actually have to get the information we don’t have yet,” he said.
In it’s current state, the bill repeals key components of the original ObamaCare plan but has managed to cut some of the “crucial” spending that conservatives have fought for, primarily a cut to Planned Parenthood funding.
Senate GOP leaders hold a 52-seat majority, so they cannot afford to lose more than two votes. Doing so will most certainly lead to a Democratic filibuster on the bill.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump has ordered Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to kill the hotly contested Republican bill to replace ObamaCare.
The move comes after weeks of intense disagreement by Republicans on the controversial program and one day after Republican law makers failed to gain enough support to secure a vote on whether or not to approve the program.
Trump has “left everything on the field when it comes to this bill,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said today during an afternoon press briefing, adding that House Speaker Paul Ryan “has done everything he can” to push the bill through but “at the end of the day, you can’t force people to vote.”
According to ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-leaves-field-crucial-health-care-vote-looms/story?id=46346773), White House budget director Mick Mulvaney had told Republican legislators that if the House failed to act on the measure today, the president is prepared to leave the Affordable Care Act in place and let the chips fall where they may.
But despite efforts by Vice President Mike Pence and health secretary Tom Price, who rushed to Capitol Hill for an urgent meeting on the matter in an effort to appeal to House conservatives, the bill failed to gain the support needed to garner a vote.
“You can’t pretend and say this is a win for us,” Representative Mark Walker, (R-N.C.), told reporters, adding that the killing of the bill was a “good moment” for Democrats.
“Probably that champagne that wasn’t popped back in November may be utilized this evening,” he said.
If enacted, The Republican bill would have replaced the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that almost all citizens in the United States is required to have health insurance. But hard line conservatives opposed the bill in it’s current form, calling it a slap in the face to conservative values and nicknaming it “ObamaCare Lite”.
At the center of the debate is the Republicans’ stance that the verbiage of the bill may force American taxpayers to pay healthcare costs for illegal immigrants.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who lead the opposition to the bill said that there are too many similarities between the proposed legislation and the original ObamaCare program and that anything short of a complete repeal would be a betrayal to the American people.
“We own repeal. We ran on it. It is our idea. We have to pass it cleanly, now,” Paul said in an op-ed drafted with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows. “Then we owe the American people a real-old fashioned period of allowing all ideas to be debated and voted on to produce the best product possible.”
Meadows, appearing of Fox News Channel’s Hannity (https://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/03/06/freedom-caucus-chair-meadows-replacement-sets-new-entitlement-keeps-some-taxes-doesnt-repeal-all-of-obamacare/), concurred, saying that Ryan’s version of the bill “sets a new entitlement, keeps some taxes and doesn’t repeal all of Obamacare.”
“We’ve got to do better, and hopefully, with some amendments, we can do that,” he added.
Speaking at a press conference just a short time after news of the pulling of the bill broke, Speaker Ryan said, “The worst is yet to come with ObamaCare. We will be living with ObamaCare for the foreseeable future until we can find a way to get it replaced.”
“This is a setback, no two ways about it,” he added. “But we’ve got to do better and I know we can.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican leaders canceled a vote in the House on Thursday on the plan to replace ObamaCare.
“It didn’t look like today was going to be when we’re going to vote,” Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) told a waiting throng of reporters after leaving a meeting with committee chairs and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on the matter.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) echoed his colleague’s comments just before the delay was formally announced.
“I don’t think we’ll vote today. Just because we planned, like, what, five hours of debate. That puts it pretty late into the night,” said Walden.
According to Republican leaders, the bill failed to gather enough support to bring it to a successful vote. The delay proved a major setback for House Speaker Paul Ryan, who helped to author the bill, and and for President Trump, who campaigned heavily on a pledge to repeal and replace the controversial health care mandate.
Trump had spent a majority of the day on Thursday trying to get both moderates and conservatives to find enough common ground to bring about a successful resolution. Despite his best efforts, more conservative members of the Republican party, who had nicknamed the replacement program “Obamacare Lite” refused to support the bill in it’s current form.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had said at his press briefing earlier Thursday afternoon that the White House was still confident that the legislation would pass.
“It’s going to pass. That’s it,” he said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was quick to criticize the Republican effort to bring the legislation to vote so early on as a “rookie’s error” and urged fellow Democrats to continue to oppose the replacement plan.
“While Republicans scramble to make TrumpCare even more destructive, our Caucus must continue to be fully engaged today in exposing its disastrous consequences for the American people,” wrote in a letter to colleagues on Thursday.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on Wednesday praised the efforts of his team to repeal the embattled ObamaCare program despite criticism from many of of his own colleagues.
Mocking the replacement plan presented by Paul as “ObamaCare 2” and “ObamaCare Lite” many hard core conservatives are calling for a complete start over on the project, a move that Ryan calls unnecessary.
“We are in the fourth quarter of the House passing this bill which is the fourth committee—that’s when a lot of negotiations intensify near the end of the process,” Ryan told Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/22/ryan-voices-confidence-on-obamacare-repeal-as-conservatives-call-to-start-over.html). “This is called legislating—we have to broker compromises to make sure we draft legislation that can actually pass.”
“The president has been bringing members down and talking to members and closing the deal,” Ryan said. “This is so encouraging—we’ve never seen this kind of presidential engagement with our members before—President Trump and Vice President Pence are rolling up their sleeves.”
But conservatives say they are less than impressed.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, declared on Wednesday that at least 25 of his colleagues would reject Ryan’s health care plan, exceeding the 22 Republican “no” votes required to block the legislation.
“I can tell you that opposition is still strong—they don’t have the votes to pass this tomorrow,” Meadows said. “We believe that they need to start over and do a bill that actually reduces premiums.”
Ryan has scheduled a vote on the bill to be held this Thursday, but many Republicans are calling on Ryan to postpone the vote and go back to drawing board.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Wednesday during his daily press briefing that the president is confident that Republicans will work out a compromise.
Ryan told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday that he remains optimistic the bill will pass.
“We’ve got a promise to keep. We promised the American people we would repeal and replace this law. We have to do it for real, not for fake. For real,” Ryan said. “A real promise kept is one where we actually use the only process we have to actually repeal this law and so I believe at the end of the day, members are going to say ‘I am going to keep my promise to the people who voted for me, who sent me into office.’”
President Donald Trump on Wednesday toured The Hermitage, the historical home of President Andrew Jackson.
While there, Trump placed a wreath upon the native Tennessean’s tomb. Trump, the first sitting president to visit Jackson’s home since Ronald Reagan, toured the mansion and saluted Jackson’s tomb as Taps played in the background.
The stop occurred amid the 45th president’s visit to Nashville as Republicans step up efforts to pitch their healthcare plan. The president is expected to take part in a rally promoting replacement of the controversial Obamacare mandate later Wednesday evening.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is facing mounting backlash after an audiotape surfaced capturing him saying he will “never defend Trump”.
In the audio tape, which leaked on Tuesday, Ryan can be heard ranting “I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future.” The audio was recorded on Oct. 10, 2016, shortly after audio surfaced of Trump making lude comments about women.
“There are basically two things that I want to make really clear, as for myself as your Speaker. I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future,” Ryan can be heard saying. “As you probably heard, I disinvited him from my first congressional district GOP event this weekend—a thing I do every year,” he continued. “And I’m not going to be campaigning with him over the next 30 days … I talked to a bunch of you over the last 72 hours and here is basically my takeaway. To everyone on this call, this is going to be a turbulent month. Many of you on this call are facing tough reelections. Some of you are not. But with respect to Donald Trump, I would encourage you to do what you think is best and do what you feel you need to do. Personally, you need to decide what’s best for you. And you all know what’s best for you where you are.”
The leaked audio follows a series of walkouts by Ryan’s fellow Republicans over Ryan’s Obamacare replacement proposal and the combined controversies have led for some high ranking commentators to call for Ryan’s resignation.
“Ryan should resign,” Lou Dobbs, conservative radio host and anchor of Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business Network tweeted on Tuesday. Dobbs followed up the tweet with two others in which he dubs Ryan’s Obamacare replacement plan as “Ryancare” and described it as “failing”.
In addition to Dobbs, scores of other Republicans, especially those in the ultra conservative Freedom Caucus, have slammed the GOP health insurance bill, calling it “ObamaCare 2.0” and “ObamaCare Lite.”
“We must keep our promise to fully repeal Obamacare,” Kentucky senator Rand Paul (R) tweeted on Tuesday.
Paul, a physician who described Ryan’s Obamacare replacement plan as “dead on arrival”, says he and fellow Republican lawmakers plan to submit their own replacement plan that will better serve the American people.
“I have lived ObamaCare. It is a disaster. I have voted to repeal it and I will vote again,” Paul told Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/10/rand-paul-house-gops-obamacare-replacement-is-dead-on-arrival.html), “but I will not vote for ObamaCare Lite stuck on the repeal bill.”
Calls for statement to Speaker Ryan were met with “no comment”.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump met with who he referred to as several “victims” of Obamacare at the White House on Monday as he pushed to repeal the Obama administration’s now infamous health care mandate.
Speaking with nearly a dozen Americans from all walks of life who say their lives were negatively impacted by the Affordable Health Care Act, the president said the republican plan proposed by Republicans will help to drive insurance costs down.
“More competition and less regulation will finally bring down the cost of care,” Trump said.
Joel Brown, a Tennessee resident who attended the round table discussion with the president, said his county has only one insurance option – which comes with a $7,000 deductible.
Another participant in the discussion, Brittany Ivey of Georgia, said her private insurance rates went up 110 percent under Obamacare. Ivey told the president that even though she was paying $1300 a month for a plan, her doctors refused to take the insurance.
“We’re so happy to be seeing it going,” said Ivey. “It’s almost put our family in financial ruin.”
After hearing the stories of those impacted by Obamacare, Trump vowed, “It will get better”.
“Millions of people had great health care that they loved,” Trump said of the health insurance program he called the “very, very, failed and failing Obamacare law.”
Trump promised the group that his administration would put into place a better plan that “lowers cost, expands choice, and ensures access for everyone” and promised “more competition and less regulation” in the market place.
“You’ll see rates go down, down, down, and you’ll see plans go up, up, up, you’ll have a lot of choices,” he said.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan also spoke on Monday about his proposed “repeal and replace” plan, which has been the subject of harsh criticism of many Republicans. Despite comments from Kentucky senator Rand Paul who described the plan as “Obamacare lite,” Ryan insisted the party can work through their disagreements and come up with a plan that’s agreeable to all.
“What we’re trying to achieve here is bringing down the cost of care, bringing down the cost of insurance not through government mandates and monopolies but by having more choice and competition,” Ryan said on Sunday CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We’re not going to make an American do what they don’t want to do.”
The president echoed Ryans comments via Twitter.
“Republicans will come together and save the day,” he tweeted. “ObamaCare is imploding. It is a disaster and 2017 will be the worst year yet, by far!”
Republicans came out in droves on Tuesday to criticize the long awaited Republican bill to replace Obamacare, calling it nothing more than a revamped version of the previous administration’s answer to socialized medicine.
“This is Obamacare by a different form. They’re still keeping the taxes in place and Medicaid expansion, and they’re starting a new entitlement,” said former House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan, who said he will refuse to support Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act.
Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) said that he too will vote against the bill in its current form.
“The bill maintains many of the federal features including a new entitlement program as well as most of the insurance regulations”, said Brat. “Now [they] are saying we’re going to do repeal and replace but the bill does nothing of the sort. [Speaker] Paul Ryan has always said the entire rationale for this bill is to bend the cost curve down, and so far I have seen no evidence that this bill will bring the cost curve down.”
A Republican Study Caucus memo obtained by Politico (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/obamacare-repeal-conservatives-235753) blasted Ryan’s bill stating: “This is a Republican welfare entitlement. Writing checks to individuals to purchase insurance is, in principle, Obamacare. It does allow more choices for individuals, and is more patient-centered, but is fundamentally grounded on the idea that the federal government should fund insurance purchases.”
In an opinion piece co-written by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/03/06/senator-paul-rep-meadows-lets-fully-repeal-obamacare-then-have-open-debate-on-how-to-replace-it.html), the two leaders wrote that many Republican want to support the program but feel there is still a great deal of work to do before that can happen.
Portions of the bill that Paul and Meadows feel are salvageable include:
1.) Leadership wants to keep Obamacare-like subsidies to buy insurance but rename them refundable tax credits (families will be given up to $14,000 dollars of other people’s money).
2.) Leadership wants to keep the Obamacare Cadillac tax but rename it a tax on the top 10% of people who have the best insurance.
3.) Leadership wants to keep the individual mandate but instead of mandating a tax penalty to the government they mandate a penalty to the insurance company (can it possibly be Constitutional to mandate a penalty to a private insurance company?)
4.) Leadership wants to keep $100 billion of the insurance company subsidies from Obamacare but call them “reinsurance.” (Why? Because insurance companies love guaranteed issue as long as the taxpayer finances it!)
The pair say they will fight to introduce their own, more conservative vision of the bill before Congress. “If anyone tells you there isn’t a plan that can both keep our promises to repeal, and work in a bipartisan, open way for replace, tell them conservatives have a plan to do just that. Now let’s hope our leadership will listen, because it is the only way they’re going to get our votes,” said Paul.
Governor Paul LePage (R-ME) echoed his fellow Republicans’ sentiments on the bill submitted by Ryan, saying that he is “very, very discouraged and disappointed,” by the House Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“Basically it’s not much better than—in fact, I don’t know, they haven’t scored it yet, so we don’t know what the cost is,” said LePage. “But based on what I see and I’m reading and what has happened here in Maine over the last 15 years, I don’t think it’s an improvement.”