Republicans are about to blow the easiest election promise-the repeal of Obamacare. Right now all the chatter on Capitol Hill is about “repeal and replace.”
Why is this a problem?
First, it takes the focus off of repeal and puts it on replace. Conservatives and Republicans ran for 3 cycles on repealing Obamacare. Only in the last couple of years have Republicans focused on replace.
We should repeal Obamacare by using the 2015 bill, outright. Period. End of discussion.
Then there should be a 1-2 year transition off the exchanges and off of Medicaid. Once Obamacare is repealed, we can focus on what replace looks like.
Second, the replacement. The replacement the Republicans are talking about right now is focusing on coverage numbers and coverage numbers only. They are going to keep the Medicaid expansion as to not “punish” the states that did not expand Medicaid. The Republican plan wants to provide individuals covered under the expansion with advanced, refundable tax credits.
This is a real problem.
A major difference between the Obamacare subsidies and the the Republican plan is that Obamacare’s subsidies are currently based on income. The more you make, the less in subsidies you get. The Republican plan will likely cost more. The Republican plan moves the subsidy from an income based payment to an age based payment – meaning everyone in an age range will qualify for something.
Those subsidies are going to be costly, but no one knows how costly because the Congressional Budge Office has not scored the bill yet.
Third, there are substantial pro-life concerns. When providing an advanced, refundable tax credit, there will be issues with how those are used to cover “healthcare” expenses. House leadership will say that conscience protections, similar to H.R. 7 passed this year, will be sufficient. That is, however, misleading at best. The House might be able to pass this legislation, but likely will not survive the Senate’s reconciliation process.
Moreover, any conscience protections will apply to current funding and current programs. There are concerns that the Republican’s new program, to provide tax credits, won’t be captured in those conscience protections.
Some conservatives are voicing opposition to the plan. They know this won’t be full repeal and are saying so. They are, unfortunately, a minority. While protecting the most moderate members of the conference, Republican House leadership is going to put a bill on the House floor that codifies some of the worst parts of Obamacare and then call it full repeal.
We cannot let them do this.
At that point, conservatives, while being shut out of all the closed door meetings, will have a choice. They can vote against the repeal & replacement legislation leaving them to explain why the legislation isn’t full repeal.
Or they can vote for the legislation, compromising on entitlements and most likely on the federal funding of abortion.
So please, pick up your phone and call your Members of Congress. The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. If you need to look up who your Members of Congress are, click here for the House and click here for the Senate!
Let Washington, DC hear your voice before it’s too late!
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