If Republicans lose the House in 2018, we’ll now know why…
So it happened. Releasing very little information and trying to push their Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal as quick as possible, House Republicans today passed a modified version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA).
There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s just dive right in!
Takeaway #1: The GOP’s “High Risk Pools” got House votes, but not coverage to those that need it the most.
Our 10-Point Expert on the AHCA still pretty much stands. The most significant addition to this version of the AHCA is the creation of “High-Risk Pools.” For those that aren’t attuned to the recent healthcare debate, high-risk pools are the GOP’s answer for government subsidies to the most expensive patients (ie those with serious preexisting conditions) in the healthcare system.
Based on multiple reports, these high-risk pools were the tipping point for many House Republicans to support the AHCA. The idea is that it gives Republicans the ability to say that people with preexisting conditions are still covered without raising the costs of premiums in their healthcare bill. In reality however, these high-risk pools aren’t even close to covering the cost of those with terminal/expensive pre-existing conditions. What’s worse, many industry experts predict that the AHCA’s high-risk pools would cover less sick people, but cost much more in the long run due to the high price of many medical procedures.
So if you’re wondering why So. Many. People. Are upset at the House GOP passing the AHCA this afternoon, you now know why.
Takeaway #2: There might be a reckoning coming for the GOP in the 2018 Midterms
Something to keep in mind. Democrats who voted for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), back in 2008, lost by sizable margins in the 2010 Midterms. Not only did the Republicans take control of the House, but the backlash of the ACA had led to the Tea Party Movement. In other words, the Democrats had paid dearly for their backing of the ACA.
Now let’s look at the points to how today’s AHCA vote is much, much worse:
- The AHCA is much more unpopular than the ACA, since the Republican healthcare repeal would cut government services people are already privy to.
Historically speaking, anytime one party controls the presidency and both houses of Congress, there is usually major turnover in the next election.
President Donald Trump is ‘UGLEY unpopular.
The AHCA wasn’t properly vetted by governmental agencies like the Congressional Budget Office before it went to a vote in the House. So it gives the suggestion that the GOP’s healthcare law was rushed. This is never a good look come election time when politicians have to justify why they voted for the bill.
The AHCA isn’t a very strong bill, legislatively speaking. It actually gives the perception of legislative action by Republicans more than it represents substantive legislative change.
By any means, we aren’t saying it’s a given that the Democrats will win the House in 2018, BUT… all signs are pointing to a reckoning of biblical proportions coming to the Republicans in the next midterms!
Takeaway #3: As is, the AHCA has zero chance of passing the Senate and becoming law.
Already, @GOP senators on Twitter rejecting House bill. Pyrrhic victory. DOA.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) May 4, 2017
Here’s the thing, politically speaking, the passage of the AHCA by House GOP makes some political sense.
For weeks, headlines had dominated the news cycle over the fact that the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans were not able to get legislation passed of any kind. So finally, they got something passed today in the AHCA. Granted, the AHCA is looking to be more-and-more problematic as healthcare experts start to dissect it, but for the Trump administration (and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan) something passed!
For Senate Republicans however, they have a much more complicated goal. While for the past seven years, Republicans of both chambers have campaigned on the promise to repeal the ACA (aka Obamacare), Senate Republicans can’t just pass the law with a simple majority, they would need a 2/3 majority to make any kind of legislative movement. In other words, they would need Democrats to vote on the bill and that isn’t happening…
There have been rumblings that Senate Republicans are just scraping the House bill and starting over with a whole new bill, which again makes a lot of sense. Even if they were to attempt to put up a healthcare repeal law, they won’t be using the AHCA as a starting point, even if they were to fundamentally change the contents of the bill with the use of amendments. As it stands, there’s too much political baggage attached to that bill for it to go anywhere. It’s absolutely toxic in the Senate. The House and the Trump administration made sure of that.
(Photo Credits: Pixabay.com, Google Images)