Donald Trump at a town hall in Derry, NH 0n 8/19/15. Photo credit: Michael Vadon (CC-By-SA 4.0)
Donald Trump at a town hall in Derry, NH 0n 8/19/15.
Photo credit: Michael Vadon (CC-By-SA 4.0)
Donald Trump at a town hall in Derry, NH 0n 8/19/15. Photo credit: Michael Vadon (CC-By-SA 4.0)
Donald Trump at a town hall in Derry, NH 0n 8/19/15.
Photo credit: Michael Vadon (CC-By-SA 4.0)

Republicans are engaging in a politically dangerous game by partially repealing Obamacare while leaving its core elements intact. President Donald Trump might have a more difficult time winning re-election in 2020 because Republicans are breaking their solemn campaign promise to repeal Obamacare fully.

I am no expert in health care, but I do remember that Republicans promised repeatedly that they were going to fully repeal Obamacare.

In 2015, the budget produced by House Republicans explicitly promised that it “repeals Obamacare in full—including all of its taxes, regulations and mandates.” On May 15, 2015, Senate Republicans on the Budget Committee made the same promise whey they pledged that the Senate budget “provides for repeal of Obamacare to start over with patient-centered reforms.” In 2017, these same “leaders” are running away from those promises.

Americans voted for Republicans enough for them to control both chambers of Congress, yet these same Republicans are advocating for a Trojan Horse piece of legislation that purports to be a “repeal and replace” of Obamacare when it is really a “partial repeal and repair” of Obama’s signature law.

One can call it Ryancare, Obamcare-lite, or Obamacare 2.0, but it isn’t a full repeal of Obamacare, because it repairs more than it repeals. The American people will not be fooled by this squishy legislation that keeps the core elements of the misnamed “Affordable Care Act.”

Somewhere, Obama is on a beach sipping a margarita and saying, “I told you so.”

Ryancare sets up a number of expiring provisions that will remove healthcare benefits from millions of Americans in the months leading up to Trump’s 2020 bid for a second term.

Chris Jacobs of the Texas Public Policy Foundation writes that the plan also falls short of fundamentally removing federal control over supply and demand of healthcare. According to Jacobs:

  • This plan fails to repeal most of the costly mandates and insurance regulations driving up premiums and deductibles.
  • This plan replaces Obamacare’s subsidy scheme with a new costly federal entitlement in the form of a refundable tax credit.
  • This plan leaves significant portions of the flawed and costly Medicaid expansion intact by delaying the freeze on Medicaid enrollment, maintaining the expansion of the program to the able-bodied, and providing a pathway for non-expansion states to accept enhanced federal dollars.

Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner points out that this bill sets up a series of “cliffs” for the “two major spending provisions” of Obamacare: the Medicaid expansion and Obamacare subsidies. Klein writes, “House Republicans on Monday released their long-awaited healthcare bill, but the plan would only repeal major parts of Obamacare starting in 2020—when the political world will be engulfed in the next presidential election.”

It’s as if the Republicans in Congress are trying to sabotage Trump by creating a time bomb provision that politically explodes in an election year.

Read the rest at The Observer

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