GOP Senators: Healthcare Bill ‘Definitely Not Repealing Obamacare’
Soon after the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the draft of the Senate’s healthcare bill on Thursday, Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) blasted the bill for not fully repealing Obamacare.
Johnson told NBC News that he “would not call this Obamacare repeal,” adding that “it’s definitely not repealing Obamacare.”
“I’m just saying, I think I have a difficult time thinking, again, I’m an accountant, I’m a business guy, I know it takes time to develop this information in such a complex system, I have a hard time believing I’ll have the information prior to when leadership may want to vote on it,” Johnson reportedly said. “I would certainly say it’s trying to address and fix some of the mess, just some of the mess, created by Obamacare. But that’s my concern, I’m not sure it’s fixing enough.”
Paul, who has criticized the House’s bill, told MSNBC that “it looks like we’re keeping Obamacare” and “not repealing it.” He said he and other Senators would be releasing a more detailed statement on the matter later in afternoon.
President Donald Trump said that “a little negotiation” would be needed but the end product would “be very good.”
“Obamacare is dead and we’re putting a plan out today that is going to be negotiated,” Trump reportedly said.
Democrats have slammed McConnell for writing the bill in secrecy. Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are also trying to paint Republicans as “heartless” for supporting a bill that cuts Medicaid while giving tax breaks to “millionaires.”
McConnell reportedly wants to have a vote on the bill before July 4.
Update: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Paul, and Johnson released this statement:
Rand Paul on Senate GOP Health Care Bill: ‘Looks Like We’re Keeping Obamacare, Not Repealing It’
Thursday shortly after Senate Republicans released their version of health care legislation, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has been skeptical of Republican efforts, went told MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt it appeared that the bill would keep Obamacare instead of repealing it.
“We’re going to have a statement in about an hour and my concern from what I’ve been able to see so far — it looks like we’re keeping Obamacare, not repealing it,” Paul replied.
When he was asked by Hunt if he was a “no” vote, Paul said to wait for the forthcoming statement.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
Breaking News: Sen.Ted Cruz Opposes GOP Health Care Bill
President Donald Trump asserted that the first draft of the Senate healthcare bill released on Thursday was work in progress.
When reporters asked him if he felt that the bill had “heart,” Trump replied, “A little negotiation, but it’s going to be very good.”
Trump made his remarks after meeting at the White House with technology CEOs about drones and automation.
“Obamacare is dead and we’re putting a plan out today that is going to be negotiated,” Trump said.
He suggested it was difficult to work on a bill, as Democrats remained entirely opposed to it.
“We’d love to have some Democrats’ support, but they’re obstructionists,” he said.
ObamaCare Death Spiral Continues as Anthem to Leave Exchanges in Several States
June 22, 2017 by Raven Clabough
Yet another health insurance company has announced that it will be leaving the ObamaCare exchanges in two states, citing market uncertainty. This is just the latest announcement in a trend that experts claim will ultimately result in the national collapse of ObamaCare.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced that it will be leaving the ObamaCare exchanges in Wisconsin and Indiana, stating that the “volatile” market under ObamaCare is “shrinking” and that the “continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance, including cost sharing reduction subsidies and the restoration of taxes on fully insured coverage” has created too much uncertainty.
Anthem, like numerous other insurance companies, has indicated it is struggling, largely because not enough young, healthy individuals have signed up for plans to balance the costs of the older, sicker enrollees, the Washington Examiner reports.
“A stable insurance market is dependent on products that create value for consumers through the broad spreading of risk and a known set of conditions upon which rates can be developed,” the company said in a statement. “Today, planning and pricing for ACA-compliant health plans has become increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance, including cost sharing reduction subsidies and the restoration of taxes on fully insured coverage.”
Those who have signed up for Anthem in these states through the ObamaCare exchange will therefore lose their insurance by the end of 2017.
Earlier this month, Anthem also announced it would be exiting the exchange in Ohio as well, provoking a scathing statement from Ohio’s Insurance Department against the healthcare law.
“Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Ohio had a very competitive health insurance market,” Ohio’s Insurance Department said. “New regulations from ACA have driven some companies out of Ohio and made it harder for them to do business, both of which have driven up the cost of health insurance in Ohio.”
“The best long-term fix is to repeal the ACA and replace it with better regulations.”
Anthem spokesman Tony Felts claims its too difficult to price health plans in the exchange because it’s unclear whether the federal government will continue to pay insurance companies for the discounts they’re required to give low-income customers to help offset the costs of the health plans. But to blame subsidy cuts for the implosion of the ObamaCare exchanges ignores the fact that government intervention in healthcare, which started long before the Affordable Care Act, is what caused health care costs to skyrocket in the first place. ObamaCare exacerbated the problem by further increasing demand while restricting the supply of doctors and hospitals.
Health insurance companies are leaving ObamaCare exchanges in droves, and some states and cities will be left without any companies on the exchange as a result. In Iowa, for example, the three remaining healthcare providers — Aetna, Wellmark, and Medica — announced that they would be pulling out.
These companies, many of which lauded the healthcare law at its inception, have cited significant financial losses as the driving force behind their exits. Aetna reported losing $430 million since 2014 from participation in the exchanges. United Healthcare announced it would end its participation in all but a small handful of exchanges in 2017 once it realized it would lose as much as $800 million in 2016. Likewise, Humana, Blue Cross, and Anthem have all reported struggles with plans that were sold on the exchanges, indicating that they were not ready for the increased number of particularly high-risk customers, many of whom have generated far more claims than insurers predicted, though critics of the law have from the beginning forecast such outcomes.
Humana was the first to announce that it was opting out of ObamaCare altogether in 2018, which has resulted in the all-out collapse of ObamaCare in Knoxville, Tennessee, where Humana was the only remaining provider on the ObamaCare exchange.
Critics of ObamaCare are pointing to the health insurance companies’ mass exodus from the exchange as proof of the unsustainability of the healthcare system it created, noting that its continual death spiral underscores all of the broken promises made by the Obama administration: The MacIver Institute, a national think tank that advocates for the free market, issued the following statement in response to Anthem’s announcement:
Anthem now joins other major health insurers like UnitedHealth, Aetna, and Humana that have been forced to withdraw from this government-run debacle in order to stop their financial hemorrhaging. President Obama promised the American public that, under Obamacare, we would see competition, lots of choices and lower health care costs. Unfortunately for the American people, President Obama was wrong and taxpayers will be stuck with the tab to fix his problem.
And while these announcements underscore the need for a full repeal of ObamaCare and a restoration of a free market healthcare system, it appears that most of the law will remain intact despite promises made by Republican lawmakers.
McConnell: Obamacare is a Direct Attack on the Middle Class
Sept 14, 2016