This Week In Healthcare News
Remember ‘read The Bill’? Now, The Gop Won’t Tell Us Which Bill To Read
The Senate is just days away from a vote to repeal health care, but the problem is that no one knows which secret plan they’re voting on and exactly how much damage it will do. And that’s exactly how GOP leaders like it.
Republican Senator John Cornyn, the Majority Whip, said he couldn’t give details about their secret repeal plan because it is “a luxury we don’t have.”
Without a single hearing, a markup, or any chance for public and expert input – and now, not even knowing what they are going to vote on – Republican Senators are determined to repeal people’s health care next week.
Despite GOP leaders like Senator Cornyn hoping to keep it secret, a growing number of Republican Senators are demanding to know the truth:
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): “We don’t have a clear determination as to what it is we are voting for.”
Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine): “I have no idea whether it is gonna be another version of the Senate bill or whether it is gonna be the 2015 repeal bill.”
Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee): “I’m becoming concerned that it’s starting to feel like a bazaar … It’s almost becoming a bidding process, you know? Fifty billion here, a hundred billion there.”
- Nobody seems to know what the heck is happening on health care
CNN // MJ Lee, Lauren Fox // July 21
- Everyone is confused about the health care vote — including Republican senators
Vox // Tara Golshan // July 20
- Confusion Grips Senate GOP Ahead of Expected Health Care Vote
NBC // Leigh Ann Caldwell // July 21
- Cloud of confusion hangs over health-care bill
Washington Post // Kelsey Snell, Amy Goldstein // July 20
CBPP: “$200 Billion More Won’t Fix Unfixable Senate Health Bill”
Yesterday, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities published a report on how adding $200 billion to the Senate’s most recent health care repeal bill will not undo the harm the bill would create. As CBPP writes, “While $200 billion seems like a lot of money, it’s only 17 percent of the bill’s $1.2 trillion in cuts: $756 billion from Medicaid and $427 billion from subsidies to help low- and moderate-income people buy coverage in the individual market, according to the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates (see first chart). It wouldn’t even fill the federal funding gap left by repealing the Medicaid expansion — let alone prevent the harm from the bill’s per capita cap on federal funding for all of Medicaid and the loss of subsidies and erosion of market reforms for people with individual market coverage.”
CBPP sums it up the best: “No one should be fooled: The reported $200 billion can’t fix the basic problems with this bill.”
CBO Proves Republican Health Care Repeal Is Always Devastating
It doesn’t matter what version of health care repeal Republicans put forward, they’ve each proven to be completely devastating for the American people – cutting coverage, raising costs, gutting Medicaid and weakening protections — just to give the wealthy and drug and pharmaceutical companies another tax break.
The newly-released CBO report on their latest health care repeal attempt proves it yet again – 22 million people lose coverage, premiums go up 20%, deductibles skyrocket and 26% is gutted from Medicaid while giving $364 billion in tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.
Deductibles for someone earning $26,500 a year would be $13,000 – that’s 1,525 percent higher than the $800 deductible under the ACA. In fact, the CBO report stated that the deductibles would violate maximums set under US law because they would be so high.
They keep promising it will get better but there is no way to fix repeal. It is always devastating.
See for yourself…
Given how every version of health care repeal has been devastating according to CBO, it makes sense that a growing group of Republican Senators are saying they should abandon repeal.
- Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS): “We must now start fresh with an open legislative process to develop innovative solutions that provide greater personal choice, protections for pre-existing conditions, increased access and lower overall costs for Kansans.” [7/17/17]
- Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): “The solution, Collins said, is to tackle health care through ‘the normal process of committee hearings, expert witnesses, and writing a bill with bipartisan support.” [7/16/17]
- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “As I’ve been saying, the Senate should take a step back and engage in a bipartisan process to address the failures of the ACA and stabilize the individual markets. That will require members on both sides of the aisle to roll up their sleeves and take this to the open committee process where it belongs.” [7/18/17]
- Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “The Congress must now return to regular order, hold hearings, receive input from members of both parties, and heed the recommendations of our nation’s governors so that we can produce a bill that finally provides Americans with access to quality and affordable health care.” [7/17/17]
- GOP Health Bill’s $13,000 Deductibles Would Be Illegal, CBO Says
Bloomberg // Zachary Tracer, Anna Edney // July 20
- CBO: 22 million would lose coverage under Senate ObamaCare replacement
The Hill // Nathaniel Weixel // July 20
- New Health Bill Is Forecast to Leave 15 Million More Uninsured Next Year
New York Times // Thomas Kaplan and Robert Pear // July 20
- Budget office: GOP health bill adds 22 million uninsured
Associated Press // Alan Fram and Erica Werner // July 20
- CBO: 22 Million More Uninsured Under Latest Version Of Senate Trumpcare Bill
Talking Points Memo // Tierney Sneed // July 20
New Polling: Voters Reject Republican Repeal
Every day that goes by, rejection of the GOP’s health care repeal gets worse.
New polling this weekend makes clear the deep rejection of the GOP’s health care repeal with all kinds of voters.
By a 2-to-1 margin (50% – 24%), people prefer the Affordable Care Act over the GOP’s repeal according to the newly released Washington Post/ABC poll.
- With moderates, 55% of people support the Affordable Care Act and only 15% support the GOP’s repeal and only 20% of independents support the GOP’s plan.
- Voters intensely oppose repeal with 37% of people strongly preferring the Affordable Care Act and only 18% strongly preferring the GOP’s repeal.
- The opposition continues even with voters 65+ (44-29), and white voters (38-31).
Most Americans (61%) have an unfavorable view of the GOP’s health care repeal plan according to the July Kaiser Health Tracking Poll.
- More than four in ten (44%) have a very unfavorable view.
- Opposition grew from 55% last month to 61% this month.
- Nearly three-quarter of Americans (71%) would rather Republicans in Congress work with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act, not repeal it, while only 23% want them to continue on this path towards repeal.
The newly released Bloomberg poll shows voters rejecting President Trump’s health care agenda – with only 28% approving of his health care work while 64% of voters disapprove.
- Health care is the top issue with voters. 35% of voters say it’s the most important issue – nearly 3 times more than the next most important issue.
In Iowa, 58% of voters oppose Congressional Republicans on health care while only 29% support it according to the new Des Moines Register poll. The opposition grows to 63% with Independents.
- Poll: Half prefer ObamaCare over GOP health bill
The Hill // Jessie Hellmann // July 17
- By a 2-to-1 margin, Americans prefer Obamacare to Republican replacements
Washington Post // Philip Bump // July 16
- Trump supporters split on whether to repeal Obamacare: Kaiser poll
Washington Times // Sally Persons // July 14
- Health care is the top issue for Americans — and they don’t like how Trump is handling it, poll says
CNBC // Jacob Pramuk // July 17
Trump Admin Fails To Win Support Of Any Republican Governors For Republican Senate’s Health Care Repeal
Vice President Pence, HHS Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma set out to win over the support from Republican Governors for the Republican Senate’s health care repeal bill during the National Governors Association summer meeting. They gave their best attempts to cudgel, persuade and even outright lie about the repeal bill to win support.
But, there is still not a single Republican governor who supports their devastating repeal plan that makes health care so much worse for so many people.
In fact, Republican governors continued to express their serious concerns for gutting Medicaid and what that would mean for their constituents. The NGA’s analysis showed that this health care repeal could mean up to 39% reduction in Medicaid in their state.
- Gov. Bill Walker (I-AK): “I Would Like to See it Split Apart.”
- Gov. Bill Walker (I-AK): “I Don’t Want to See Alaskans Lose Coverage.”
- Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ): “It Needs Work.”
- Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR): “Those Are Still Significant Hurdles That Would Shift A Huge Burden To The States… You Cannot Manage The Medicaid Population And Create That Level Of Savings.”
- Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR): “Deep Concern” Regarding “The Cost Shift We See To The States Under The Reduced Growth Rate For Medicaid Spending.”
- Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA): “I’m Not Going To Support Anything That Translates Into A Taking, Literally, Just A Takeback From The Federal Government.”
- Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV): “I’m No Different Than I Was.”
- Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV): “I’m Struggling to Validate the Numbers…”
- Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV): On Medicaid Cuts: “Anybody Can Do The Rudimentary Math On That.”
- Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV): “I’m Greatly Concerned And Very Protective Of The Expansive Population.”
- Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH): “Those Of Us Who Are Implementing These Programs Are The Only Ones That Really Understand The Impact.”
- Gov. John Kasich (R-OH): “The Senate Plan Is Still Unacceptable.”
- Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI): “None Of These Plans Right Now Do Us Justice.”
- Gov. Phil Scott (R-VT): “We’ve Made Great Strides At Protecting The Most Vulnerable And I Believe, In Its Present Form, This Would Not Be Good For Vermont.”
- Governors Give Chilly Reception to Health Bill Push
New York Times // Jonathan Martin, Alexander Burns // July 15
- Governors steer clear of Trump
Politico // Gabriel Debenedetti, Megan Cassella // July 15
- Governors ‘High Degree of Anxiety’ Over Health Care Bill
NBC // Alex Seitz-Wald // July 14
- John Kasich spokesman calls out Mike Pence comments on Medicaid
Washington Examiner // Kimberly Leonard // July 15
Save My Care Releases New TV Ads Calling On Key Senate Republicans To Vote No On Health Care Repeal
Today, Save My Care announced a new round of television and digital ads urging Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) to vote no on health care repeal and take a stand on the GOP’s devastating plan to repeal the ACA. Save My Care released its latest round of ads as President Trump and the GOP attempt to move forward with destroying the American health care system, despite opposition from Republican governors, Senators and the American public.
- Pro-ObamaCare group targets key senators in new ads
The Hill // Peter Sullivan // July 21
In addition to national publications, a variety of criticisms over the Senate repeal bill were featured in local publications across the country. Below are some highlights:
- Murkowski says Senate should work with Dems on ACA reform
Homer News // Michael Armstrong // July 20
- Op-Ed: Still bad for Alaska
Juneau Empire // Art Petersen // July 18
Arizona PBS // Brianna Stearns // July 20
- 2 Republican lawmakers, Phoenix chamber oppose health care bill
CBS News // Chris Benincaso // July 18
- Hickenlooper, 10 other governors urge Congress to stop trying to repeal Obamacare
Denver Business Journal // July 18
- Edwards Among Governors Calling For Bipartisan Health Care Reform
WRKF // Wallis Watkins // July 20
- Health insurance rates set to soar for some in Louisiana, and congressional uncertainty isn’t helping
The Advocate // Ted Griggs // July 17
- Susan Collins says it’s time to fix Obamacare
Boston Globe // Victoria McGrane // July 19
- Senators Collins, King speak out against Affordable Care Act repeal
CBS 13 WGME // July 19
- Uncertainty Over Obamacare Leaves Next Year’s Rates In Limbo
Maine Public Radio // July 19
- Report says Obamacare repeal will leave 32 million uninsured; Trump warns wavering Heller his job is at stake
Nevada Independent // Megan Messerly, Michelle Rindels // July 19
- As Obamacare repeal sputters, Sandoval and 10 other governors urge Senate to abandon effort
Nevada Independent // Michelle Rindels, Riley Snyder // July 18
- Las Vegas woman makes viral video to get Senator Dean Heller’s attention
ABC 13 // Gina Lazara // July 17
- With Medicaid cuts still in Trumpcare bill, many veterans remain opposed
Tennessean // Jake Lowary // July 16
- ‘Nuns on the Bus’ Sister Campbell joins Knox faith leaders to urge health care over ‘partisan politics’
Knoxville News Sentinel // Kristi Nelson // July 17
- Capito among GOP senators targeted after health-care battle
Charleston Gazette-Mail // David Weigel // July 20
- Bekah Hollers: Sen. Capito, please take next step on health care
Charleston Gazette-Mail // Bekah Hollers // July 20
In Case You Missed It
- The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a number of reports this week:
- New CBO Estimate: Still 22 Million More Uninsured Under Revised Senate Republican Health Bill [July 20]
- HHS’s Flawed Presentation on Cruz Amendment: Comparing Apples to Oranges While Ignoring Key Facts [July 20]
- $200 Billion More Won’t Fix Unfixable Senate Health Bill [July 20]
- Senate Bill Wouldn’t Help People in Coverage Gap [July 20]
- Senate Health Bill Would Put Coverage Out of Reach for Millions of Low-Income People [July 20]
- Senate Health Bill Would Penalize Arizona for Its Innovative and Efficient Medicaid Program [July 19]
- Senate Health Bill Waivers Would Undermine Key Consumer Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions [July 19]
- Repeal-Without-Replace Even More Harmful Then Failed Senate Bill [July 18]
- No Difference: New Senate Bill Would Still Effectively Bar More States from Expanding Medicaid [July 17]
- The Center for American Progress published new data this week: