Republicans would love to tell you about it but, shhhhh, it’s supposed to be a secret…
Currently Senate Republicans are working on a healthcare bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). But ask anybody what’s in the GOP healthcare plan and this is the response you’ll get.
Even though Republican leadership wants to get a healthcare plan passed before the July 4th recess, no one other than the Republican leadership knows what’s in the plan. Considering millions of Americans would be effected by a repeal of the ACA, this is a major problem!
Here are two major questions we have regarding the entire process.
Question 1: What’s actually in the Senate GOP’s healthcare bill?
Supposedly, the ACA repeal bill will be unveiled this Thursday. Till then, here are the general details of what we know:
- From all the reports, the Senate Republican’s healthcare bill follows the same structure of the House’s American Health Care Act (AHCA). The emerging narrative – and the one that most people care about – is that the Senate healthcare bill still would leave millions of individuals without health insurance.
Also based on reports, the bill would have significant cuts to the Medicaid program both in its expansion through the ACA and the federal funding given to states.
Unlike the House’s AHCA, this bill looks to be more generous to insurance subsidies. The missing language of insurance subsidies was a major problem with House Republicans in the AHCA. That is something Senate Republicans look to avoid with their healthcare bill.
Other than that, your guess is good as ours in what’s in the Senate GOP healthcare bill.
Question 2: How would Senate Republicans clandestinely pass their healthcare bill?
For Senate Republicans, specifically for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, it all revolves around the “budget reconciliation rules” in the Senate that would only require a simple majority (ie 50 votes) to pass their healthcare bill. This, as you may have guessed, limits the Democrats in pushing back against the Senate GOP’s bill by only needing Republican support and blocking the Democrats from filibustering the bill. Essentially, Democrats can’t do much to stop the bill if the Senate GOP has the 50 votes to pass.
If this pans out for the Republicans, it creates two major outcomes.
(1) Considering the unpopularity of the GOP’s efforts in repealing the ACA, doing this in the most hush-hush way possible might not be the worst idea for the Republican Party. For the GOP (and President Trump), the repeal of the ACA was one of their biggest campaign promises in the last election cycle. Not being able to do that might anger the deficit hawks in their base.
(2) However, ask Democrats about the 2010 midterm elections after they passed the ACA. And let’s not forget… the GOP repeal plans are WAY MORE UNPOPULAR than the ACA ever was. If this passes in the way that Republicans want it to pass, then all signs point to a reckoning for the GOP in the 2018 Midterms.
(Photo Credits: Pixabay.com, Google Images)