A spokeswoman for the House Freedom Caucus told Breitbart News the technical and Medicare-related changes to the RyanCare bill up for a House floor vote Thursday will not save the bill from defeat.
“The amendments offered by Republican leadership do little to address the serious concerns of House conservatives,” said Alyssa Farah, the caucus communications director.
“At this time, the bill does not have the votes to pass,” she said. “The Freedom Caucus will continue to work with House colleagues, the Senate, and the White House to find a path forward that works for the American people.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R.-WI) posted changes to his American Health Care Act bill late Monday night that were made to the RyanCare bill by the House Rules Committee, hours before President Donald Trump visits the Capitol to save the speaker’s plan to save the Obamacare program created by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Trump’s visit is significant, because taken at face value, it demonstrates the president’s commitment to Ryan’s plan, but it could also be read as Trump’s attempt to inoculate himself from the charge that he did not do enough to help the speaker if RyanCare is defeated.
The changes are both technical and substantive amendments. The speaker said the technical amendments were necessary to ensure that the bill survives the “Byrd Bath,” the process by which senators allow parliamentarians to strip away parts of a House budget bill that violate the Byrd Rule. The Byrd Rule states that the only bills that are allowed to use the Senate’s privileged budget reconciliation track and remain exempt from filibusters are bills that deal purely with revenues and spending.
The significant amendments to the bill include closing the provision in the RyanCare bill that allowed an abortion tax credit, cutting back the expansion of Health Savings Accounts, and adding new restrictions on Medicaid.
Under the new amendments, rules would discourage New York State from forcing non-New York City counties to subsidize the Big Apple’s Medicaid bill. The amendment would require able-bodied adults without dependents to have a job before they apply for Medicaid benefits. The Empire State provisions apply only to that state.
“I want to thank the White House and members from all parts of our conference who have helped make this the strongest legislation it can be,” Ryan said. “With this amendment, we accelerate tax relief, give states additional options to spend health care dollars how they choose, strengthen what were already substantial pro-life protections, and ensure there are necessary resources to help older Americans and the disabled.”
“The American Health Care Act is the result of a long, member-driven process, and these improvements are an extension of that inclusive approach,” said the speaker, whose bill was crafted privately by working groups made up of insurance industry representatives, congressional staffers, and selected members of Congress.
Capitol Hill conservatives are incensed and frustrated by Ryan’s handling of what was supposed to be a repeal-and-replace of Obamacare but was hijacked by the speaker. House Republicans were told behind closed doors that the RyanCare was precisely worded to unwind features of the Obamacare program that destabilized insurance markets. As the bill progressed through the Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Budget Committees, Republicans did not offer amendments, and amendments by Democrats were ruled out of order, followed by appeals of those rulings, which the Republicans voted to table.
The text of the RyanCare bill was first released March 6 at 6:00 p.m., as congressmen and senators were still arriving back into Washington after a weekend recess.
Until Monday’s night’s changes, the text of the RyanCare bill was exactly as it was the night it was first made public.
An important part of how the speaker is managing his bill is his need to preserve the trappings of “regular order.” Regular order is the routine process, by which measures are developed in committees and subcommittee with hearings and an open amendment process. While the RyanCare bill continued step-by-step through the committees, the speaker was able to tout his returning to regular order — one of his pledges — when he first ran for speaker to block a conservative from succeeding Speaker John Boehner (R.-OH).
While Republicans are content to go-along-to-get-along within their respective committees, the RyanCare bill is heading for defeat on the House floor. There are 237 Republicans and 193 Democrats. The five vacant seats mean that Ryan needs 216 votes, a target beyond his grasp if 21 members of the House Freedom Caucus hold the line. Reporting by Breitbart News puts the HFC bloc against RyanCare north of 25.
Under the House rules, that is regular order; the bill is now awaiting consideration by the Rules Committee, chaired by Rep. Pete Sessions (R.-TX). Sessions was himself a contender to replace Boehner, but he chose instead to back Ryan. Although Sessions is the chairman of the committee, the committee is in practice the speaker’s instrument to control legislation. Called the “Speaker’s Commitee,” the Rules Committee has extraordinary power to change legislation and set the terms of debate and the degree to which a bill would be subject to amendments on the floor.
Conservatives are still waiting to see if the House Republican leadership instructs the Rules Committee to allow an open amendment process on the floor.
RINO Ryan still does not get it, we will not allow him or his minions to stuff things down our throat
Congress ignores ability to strike Obamacare, preferring to entrench control
Camouflaging legislation and foot-dragging in an attempt to distract our attention no longer works. We have to ask why republican leadership is making the delivery of the last gasps of a dying Obamacare so complicated
Congress ignores ability to strike Obamacare, preferring to entrench control
Mar 20, 2017 By A. Dru Kristenev
Instant gratification (we all recognize that phrase) in modern culture is now being realized via the instant construction of a house (won’t go into energy consumption to produce the plastic materials), designer food or other “produced” items from 3D printers. “Instant” healthcare is just another take on the concept and government has been feeding the populace on the lie of its affordability for years now.
But this is the reality—instantaneous creation of homes, steaks, clothing and healthcare result in no responsibility, no earning and no accomplishment. The universal consequence? There’s no appreciation for anything. What is created is no confidence and, ultimately, the acceptance of individual failure which feeds dependence
General dependence on government
And general dependence on government seems to be the outcome most members of Congress are promoting despite what they say publicly. The whole non-repeal of Obamacare serves as testament to this point.
The morning of St. Patrick’s Day, President Trump made a statement that he and some 20 members of Congress had reached an agreement of how best to enact the Ryan so-called replacement plan of the self-destructing Obamacare. Although their compromise has yet to be unveiled, it is a marvel to observers, such as our legal researcher Toddy Littman, that the Speaker of the House has not identified and employed the simplest and most effective Constitutional removal of the whole misnamed and ill-fated Affordable Care Act.
Not enjoying the genius insight Littman possesses, the solution offered in my previous columns pales next to the elegant beauty of his suggestion which, in fact, is related to what he originally told Speaker Boehner in 2011.
In response to a retweet of Representative Thomas Massie’s comment that Ryan’s American Health Care Act is a “stinking pile of garbage,” Littman replied with common, constitutional sense (not that Congress functions accordingly) on March 16, 2017…
@GoldBaron08 That’s what the SCOTUS ruling O’care is a tax meant, unconstitutional passage.
Did everyone get that? The fact that the mandate, which the Senate tried to call a “fine” was redefined by SCOTUS’ ruling, thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts, as a tax. In so doing, it actually nullified the reconciliation passage of the original ACA as unconstitutional.
The action taken by the Supreme Court created the opportunity for the Speaker of the House to officially strike the legislation from the record. Why, then, are the republicans playing this game of repealing Obamacare while not really repealing it at all but entrenching it? As the current legislation stands, it leaves in place the exchanges and the ultimate power of the Secretary of the Health and Human Services to guide and change healthcare according to the whim of whatever party happens to be in power. For the moment, we have a republican administration that is beholden to shrinking government but if the whole legislation’s structure is not gutted and repealed, as soon as a democrat administration is voted in, the regulations will be reinstated.
Congress has allowed this charade to go on for seven years
Congress has allowed this charade to go on for seven years, refusing to take any action that would result in removal of the legislation. Previous repeal votes were little more than window dressing in that the republicans knew then President Obama would never sign those bills. Except for a small minority of conscientious legislators in the House and the Senate, it appears that most lawmakers are perfectly content to lord it over the rest of American citizenry by locking up control of a sixth of the economy.
This is the problem with Washington, D.C. The establishment insiders have mucked up governance with overblown rules and contentions that only they have the ability to understand and manage legislation. The smokescreen has worked for too many years. Educational institutions have propagated the lie until average graduates believe they are powerless to think for themselves or understand the plain language of the Constitution without having it “interpreted” for them by those more knowledgeable.
It’s time voices from the gallery were heard and recognized. With the help of an 1828 Webster’s dictionary to ascertain the meaning of words at the time of the Constitution’s penning, we have more clarity of that document’s purpose and application than most senators, representatives and appointed bureaucrats seated in D.C. The only way “instant” is utilized in the People’s vocabulary is to invoke a response from our legislators. Camouflaging legislation and foot-dragging in an attempt to distract our attention no longer works. We have to ask why republican leadership is making the delivery of the last gasps of a dying Obamacare so complicated.
Ryan: ‘Huge Conservative Wins’ Added to Repeal and Replace Bill; Let Senate Make Changes
(CNSNews.com) – You can’t put every health care item you want into a budget reconciliation bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan told a news conference on Tuesday, but he said Republicans have added some “huge conservative wins.”
He’s also leaving it to the Senate to make additional changes.
“We have a lot of Freedom Caucus members who are supporting this bill. We’ve been working with all of our members on many of their concerns, and I would simply say that a lot of the members’ concerns have been incorporated in this process.”
Ryan listed some of the “huge conservative wins” that have been added to the repeal-and-replace bill:
Giving states the ability to take a total block grant for Medicaid; giving states the incentive to have work requirements; preventing non-expansion states from expanding and gaming the system. This is the most pro-life legislation we’ve had since partial birth abortion. It’s a massive tax cut, and we made the tax cuts effective in 2017. All of those things were requests by these members.
Paul noted that nowadays, in politics, if you get 85 percent of what you want – “that’s pretty darn good.”
He said Republicans don’t want to put something in the bill that would kill it in the Senate. “So that’s why we’re going to pass the best possible legislation we can…send it over to the Senate, and then the Senate, without jeopardizing the bill, can make improvements to the bill, but if we do it here, we will jeopardize the entire bill.”
Ryan said at the end of the day, it’s a choice: “Do you want to stick with the Obamacare status quo; do you want to stick with the idea that we made a promise and we’re not going to keep it; or do we want to replace this (Obamacare) with a clearly much, much better law – something that makes good on our principles and our promises and gets this country on the right track.”
Ryan spoke after President Trump went to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning to meet privately with Republicans.
“I gotta just say, editorial — the president just came here and knocked the ball out of the park,” Ryan said. “He knocked the cover off the ball, in explaining to our members how it’s important to unify, how it’s important to work together, how we are advancing our principles, and we are doing what we told the American people we would do.
“This is our chance and this is our moment. It’s a big moment, and I think our members are beginning to appreciate just what kind of a rendezvous with destiny we have right here.”
OBAMACARE REPEAL OR OBAMACARE 2.0?
Government intervention leads to higher prices and lower quality
Mar 21, 2017 by Ron Paul
This Thursday, the House of Representatives will vote on a Republican bill that supposedly repeals Obamacare.
However, the bill retains Obamacare’s most destructive features.
That is not to say this legislation is entirely without merit. For example, the bill expands the amount individuals can contribute to a health savings account (HSA). HSAs allow individuals to save money tax-free to pay for routine medical expenses. By restoring individuals’ control over healthcare dollars, HSAs remove the distortions introduced in the healthcare market by government policies encouraging over-reliance on third-party payers.
The legislation also contains other positive tax changes, such a provision allowing individuals to use healthcare tax credits to purchase a “catastrophic-only” insurance policy. Ideally, health insurance should only cover major or catastrophic health events. No one expects their auto insurance to cover routine oil changes, so why should they expect health insurance to cover routine checkups?
Unfortunately the bill’s positive aspects are more than outweighed by its failure to repeal Obamacare’s regulations and price controls. Like all price controls, Obamacare distorts the signals that a freely functioning marketplace sends to consumers and producers, thus guaranteeing chaos in the marketplace. The result of this chaos is higher prices, reduced supply, and lowered quality.
Two particularly insidious Obamacare regulations are guaranteed issue and community ratings. As the name suggests, guaranteed issue forces health insurance companies to issue a health insurance policy to anyone who applies for coverage. Community ratings forces health insurance companies to charge an obese couch potato and a physically-fit jogger similar premiums. This forces the jogger to subsidize the couch potato’s unhealthy lifestyle.
Obamacare’s individual mandate was put in place to ensure that guaranteed issue and community ratings would not drive health insurance companies out of business. Rather than repealing guaranteed issue and community ratings, the House Republicans’ plan forces those who go longer than two months without health insurance to pay a penalty to health insurance companies when they purchase new policies.
It is hard to feel sympathy for the insurance companies since they supported Obamacare. These companies were eager to accept government regulations in exchange for a mandate that individuals buy their product. But we should feel sympathy for Americans who are struggling to afford, or even obtain, healthcare because of Obamacare and who will obtain little or no relief from Obamacare 2.0.
The underlying problem with the Republican proposal is philosophical. The plan put forth by the alleged pro-free-market Republicans implicitly accepts the premise that healthcare is a right that must be provided by government. But rights are inalienable aspects of our humanity, not gifts from government.
If government can give us rights, then it can also limit or even take away those rights. Giving government power to enforce a fictitious right to healthcare justifies government theft and coercion. Thievery and violence do not suddenly become moral when carried out by governments.
Treating healthcare as a right leads to government intervention, which, as we have seen, inevitably leads to higher prices and lower quality. This is why, with the exception of those specialties, like plastic surgery, that are still treated as goods, not rights, healthcare is one of the few areas where innovation leads to increased costs.
America’s healthcare system will only be fixed when a critical mass of people rejects the philosophical and economic fallacies justifying government-run healthcare. Those of us who know the truth must continue to work to spread the ideas of, and grow the movement for, liberty.