Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Can GOP ‘Replace’ Obamacare? The RSC Has a Plan

Rep. Steve Scalise

The Republican Study Committee, chaired by Scalise, is drafting legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans have held 40 votes to repeal Obamacare, but their promise to come up with legislation to replace it with something else has been far more elusive. That may be about to change.

The 173-member strong Republican Study Committee is on track to roll out legislation this fall that would replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act with a comprehensive alternative, Chairman Steve Scalise told CQ Roll Call on Thursday.

Though it wouldn’t be the first Obamacare repeal-and-replace proposal floated by individual GOP lawmakers in either chamber of Congress, the RSC bill is one that could at least gain traction on the House floor, given the conservative group’s size and influence.

It would, however, have to pass muster with House Republican leaders, who have not yet been formally acquainted with the legislative text, according to Scalise. It would also likely need the blessing of outside advocacy groups such as Heritage Action for America and the Club for Growth, which could make or break the bill’s chances of passage.

The Louisiana Republican said the plan would include protections for people with pre-existing conditions — one of the main benefits of Obamacare.

“We address that to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions cannot be discriminated against,” he said. But, he promised the bill would not “put in place mandates that increase the costs of health care and push people out of the insurance that they like,” Scalise said.

“We want to make sure that, when it’s rolled out, that people who have an interest in health care, from families to small and large business groups, all understand just what the difference is between our bill and the president’s health care law,” Scalise said, demurring on whether the RSC would need outside stakeholders’ approval in order to move forward with the bill’s introduction. “There are very dramatic differences, not just in the policy but in the cost.”

He declined to detail specifics — and those specifics have tripped up GOP efforts in the past. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s effort earlier this year to shift some Obamacare funding into state high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions tanked after a conservative backlash. Indeed, some conservatives and outside groups simply want to leave the issue up to the states and are far more interested in “repeal” than “replace.”

The failure of the GOP to coalesce around an alternative — and the failure of the Cantor bill — has become one of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s favorite talking points.

Scalise said he expects his party leaders to “have a real interest” in the RSC proposal, given that the group has been “working with very respected leaders in health care in the Republican conference.”

The fall timetable for the “replace” bill is included in the RSC’s internal quarterly progress report obtained by CQ Roll Call. Scalise wrote on July 31 that a replacement “with patient-centered reforms that lower costs without the taxes and mandates in the President’s law” was “slated for introduction when we return this fall.”

“The RSC has been working for a long time on alternatives to Obamacare,” Scalise said in response to CQ Roll Call inquiries about the memo. “We’ve obviously fought very hard to repeal the bill, to unravel different pieces on it that are falling on its own weight, anyway. But we’ve also been working to put together a true alternative that would lower market costs, and fix some real problems that existed before Obamacare that are made worse with it.”

Scalise said that the bill has not yet been completed, and he did not clarify when after Congress returns from the August recess it might be introduced.

  • DrSquishy

    Well let’s see it.

  • Marty Holden

    The GLARING questions: Why didn’t you do this before? If your motivation are truely for the People, why not just pass bills that correct the specific portions of ObamaCare that seem to the unproven problem. If you CAN improve it, why haven’t you to this point? No, you will craft a system that is either designed to fail, or will rape the consumer.

    That’s your nature, conservatives.

    • ta111

      They did you fool. They offered many, many proposals and were told to go to he**. Maybe you should do some research next time.

    • 1dahliagirl

      You do have a point. This issue should have been tackled years ago , &, in smaller steps , so , changes could be evaluated for successes or failures. I blame both parties who haggled , rather than compromised.

      I come from a large medical family , lots of doctors; lots of RN’s &, if you want a fact, here it is.

      I have one doctor brother that is a progressive, & has been part of a large group of 35 entities that have been in a pilot Obamacare program for the last 18 months. It’s called the ‘Pioneer Program.’

      Usual yearly health care costs rise about 7% . My brother’s cost
      rise was 1% . How do you get there ?…. he admits it is by rationing, & , he expects to receive a very LARGE bonus.
      So , it isn’t just Obama’s Independent Payment Advisory Board we have to worry about, it’s many doctors, too… plus hospitals. Hospital bonuses from cost savings are supposed used to care for the indigent under the ACA , but, because of the way the law is written , this isn’t being done.

      Oh, my dentist is raising prices. Why ? Because dental tools & equipment are being taxed like all durable medical equipment .

      Want a 10-minute virtual consultations with a physician? Maybe, you have jock itch & wish to show a TV screen. Head over to the Rite Aid stores that started the program. It will only cost you $45.00, or, if you don’t have insurance $100.00.
      Want a job ? You can follow all of this through with the result of unintended consequences.

      • CJR

        I love the “rationing” argument.
        It’s basic economics.
        There is only so much medical care that exists. There is a larger amount of people who want that care.
        Therefore, there is a shortage.
        Basic economics says that some people will not get what they want. So, how do we decide who gets the limited amount of medical care available?
        In a free market, it’s pretty easy. If you’re poor, too bad. Pay up, go off into a corner and die where none of us have to see you.
        But, we don’t QUITE do that. If you’re uninsured, that is the basic result.
        Somehow, I expect the GOP is going to suggest something like that, though.

        • MichaelKennedy

          In 1965, I was a medical student and saw what Medicaid did to the county hospital. Prior to the new law, the poor got good care with few fringe benefits. It was superior to the private care most of them got later from Medicaid mills. I knew doctors in training who quit to form those mills. The big city hospitals that had cared for the poor for decades, were devastated by Medicaid rules that would not pay them for care of the uninsured. Medicaid was designed to pay only for private care, much of which was inferior to the care they had been getting.

          I saw women in clinic who came in for exams, and when we told them they needed a hysterectomy for example) they thanked us and said that they trusted us “boys at the County” but they could get a semi-private room at such and such hospital in the poor areas where they lived. The level of care was worse but the amenities were better. Medicaid made that the rule and the big charity and teaching hospitals were hurt. Gradually, the teaching hospitals turned to insured patients and the public hospitals deteriorated. Obamacare will worsen that decline.

    • cubanbob

      Accurate description of Obamacare

    • Servius

      The system that was designed to fail was Obamacare.

    • SWohio

      Well, after your fearless leader told the GOP ‘I won’ and cut them out of any discussions about Obamacare, what would you have them do?

      There have been other alternatives offered by Republicans in the HOuse that Reid refused to allow to be discusses, much less voted on.

      That would be YOUR nature, lib. Perhaps if your side were less arrogant and ‘my way or the highway’, more would get done by Congress.

      We all know that isn’t going to happen, thus the constant excuse from Obama that Republicans, altho in the minority and unable to pass anything outside of the house, are the reason he can’t get ‘anything’ done.

      That sure didn’t stop him from getting Obamacare passed, with solely Dem votes – and by the way, please remember that as Obamacare becomes a larger and heavier weight around the necks of the Dems who are up for election soon.

    • MichaelKennedy

      The Senate and Obama block any action from the House. That may be somewhat changed after next year. It will be harder to deny the truth with both house of Congress held by the same party.

  • oldhandatthis

    The House Republican track record and pattern is they oppose Democratic legislation and promise to deliver an alternative but never do. In the end the House Republican conference is too divided, too undisciplined, and too poorly led to do much at all. They are the reason this is the least productive Congress ever.

    • ta111

      Offerring insurance across state lines, tort reform, making healthcare premiums tax deductible, increasing use of HSA accounts so people will become consumers of healthcare. These are some of the proposals that were offerred back in 2009. They were told by pelosi, reid and obama to take a hike, and we are now screwed because of it.

      • Beeker

        Offering insurance across state lines are more problematic than you think. For one thing, states have the right to change the feature of the insurance and you won’t know it until it is too late and adding the fact that the Feguson-McCarron Act of 1944 already allow states to regulate the insurance industry.
        Another problem is due to the changes of the banking regulation, banks were allow to offer credit card that has interest based on another state: Citi was allowed to set up their office in SD in exchange for uncapped interest rate on their credit card products that is marketed throughout the country.

      • Kevin Malone

        Somehow or another people seem to think that people can become “consumers of health care”…like shopping at Walmart. How can you price out services before you know what you need? And if I get hit my a car…how do I negotiate for a lower prices? Gee doctor I know I am dying, but I refuse to pay more than 100 bucks for this operation!!! This is why we use insurance companies. They do all the shopping for us…we then select a plan that covers a percentage of costs. Insurance companies are suppose to be negotiating the best cost…using their buying power.

        They also control costs by restricting your access to certain procedures etc. This is how they make a large portion of their profits.

        Health Care benefits offered by employers is tax deductible. If you are self-employed, health care insurance are deductible. And of course if you dont pay federal taxes, or very little, then the tax break is meaningless.

        You want TORT reform for an industry that kills enough folks, through errors, to fill four jumbo jets a week. Or so says that bastion of liberalism, the WSJ…

        As they say in Texas, your plan is all hat and no cattle

        • ta111

          I speak from personal experience. I own a small company and three years ago we went to a high deductible HSA plan. Since the first several thousand of healthcare expenditures comes out of the HSA we have changed how we use healthcare and how we buy prescription drugs. When it’s your money, it makes a big difference. Now, if we can get libs to understand that nothing is free and you must take personal responsibility, then we will be better off. Also, tort reform to cap certain types of damages and make it easier for the loser to get fees then you’ll see far less frivolous suits and in turn much lower med mal insurance premiums. But why use common sense solutions when you can screw up the system with, as Max Baucus, the Dem who helped write th law,states a “train wreck”. Please wake up to reality.

          • AJNolley

            You know what really teaches you to use healthcare and how you buy prescription drugs with your own money? Try losing your job and being offered the “deal” of COBRA for $800 a month. Then you end up with no insurance, you buy Walgreens low cost drug plan and take generics in the same class of drugs that don’t work, but at least you aren’t 100% miserable – only 80% miserable. Then you go visit one doctor a month to refill your medications. All of which costs more than your insurance did, only you don’t have anything left to do anything else. So, when you get food poisoning you vomit for 5 hours until your neighbor wakes up, since you can’t afford the ambulance, then have him take you to the emergency room. They bill you $1800, which you do not pay, since you are broke, and so those who do have insurance end up subsidizing your trip. All because health insurance is tied to your job, and because you have a pre-existing condition.

          • cubanbob

            What are you going to do when your employer cancels the company plan when it becomes cheaper to cancel the plan and pay the penalty than buying it?

          • Jessie James

            So healthcare should be free? You think 800 for cobra is expensive, wait until 20 Million illegal immigrants and uninsured are added to the healthcare system. What do you think the cost will be? The GAO already stated that by adding nearly 30 million new enrollees to the healcare system, you will ultimately remove close to 12 million who currently have healthcare they like. So as we see, the majority leach will alway prevail over the minority provider.

          • RationalPrinciple
          • Dennis Mac

            With HSAs and high deductibles, people don’t go to the doctor for routine preventative care that can catch problems early, before they become expensive, life threatening issues.

          • Win

            Not true. All HSA plans have provisions for routine preventive care — often with little or no out-of-pocket expense. This is done to encourage preventive care and lower outcomes risk for the high-deductible plan payer (i.e., it works for the patient & payer by optimizing outcomes).

          • SWohio

            I have never had a health care plan that didn’t cover routine preventative care.

            Now I will have to pay for one that covers abortion and birth control. I’m a 63 year old woman who had a hysterectomy years ago.

          • garys

            Our plan with Aetna paid us to get preventative care (mammograms, annual physical to screen for hypertension and other cardiac risks, etc.). Having “skin in the game” motivated us to question utility of lab tests that MD’s tend to tick of on lab orders out of habit and when asked “why” would admit kinda shrug and untick, saving me and Aetna money. Also a motivator to ignore the expensive meds whose ads run constantly and determine the best option via cost-benefit analysis. Best plan we ever had.

          • MichaelKennedy

            “Preventive care” is mostly made up of public health matters that don’t involved a doctor’s office. Routine care, like diabetes and blood pressure care should be personal matters and not paid through insurance except for complications. Do you know that Medicare and most insurance companies pay a small fraction of what is billed ? About 11 to 20% in the case of Medicare. Cash medical care would be far cheaper but Medicare and insurance companies require doctors to bill at “retail” rates so they can tell you how much they “saved” you. It’s a racket. By the way, if you try to pay cash now, the rules require the doctor to charge retail or be punished. Many doctors don’t even bill Medicaid because of the red tape.

        • cubanbob

          There are high deductible medical catastrophe plans. Most people don’t suffer major catastrophes routinely.

        • MichaelKennedy

          “I refuse to pay more than 100 bucks for this operation!!! This is why we
          use insurance companies. They do all the shopping for us”

          I ran a trauma center for seven years, until I was worn out at age 50 with 40 hour long days with no sleep. We NEVER asked or knew the insurance status of any patient. This is one of those myths of the left.

          Doctors are rebelling against the Medicare and insurance rules that are larding up Obamacare with unneeded services pushed by lobbyists. Watch what happens when it does, if we are unlucky, go into effect. The only doctors willing to work under these onerous rules will be the young ones with student loans to pay. Good luck. I’m retired.

      • oldhandatthis

        Republicans worked to block Obama Care in 2009, they were not offering constructive suggestions. The record of the House since Republicans took control is what it is. I stand by my comment.

        • cubanbob

          A plan that no one knew what was in it until it was passed is responsible legislation? The republicans didn’t block anything. The democrats own this train wreck 100%

          • oldhandatthis

            I agree the Democrats own Obama Care but doubt it will be a trainwreck. It may need a few tweaks but Republicans made the same doom and gloom predictions about medicare and those problems were not that bad.

            In fact the doom and gloom predictions are usually so over the top that actual rollout problems seem relatively minor in comparison and the public gets a positive impression.

          • Nonameworks

            Haha. I work in the mental health indutry and you have no idea what the havoc already starting down the pike is. The Unaffordable Nightmare hasn’t even kicked in, but people are scrambling like crazy..

          • RationalPrinciple

            The Affordable Care Act has been in the news for 4 years, and has been Public Policy for 3 years. While understanding it’s being progressively elaborated, you have to wonder why the majority of Americans dont understand it. This speaks to Obama’s ability to make the case for himself.

            There are parts of this bill that will ultimately save lives, and parts of the bill that will destroy jobs and increase Healthcare costs.
            I would be happy to see a Republican, or even a Non-Partisian approach that keeps portions of the ACA, eliminating others.
            Scrap the Mandate.
            Keep the Pre-Existing Condition Clause.
            Keep the clause allowing 23-26 year olds to stay on their parents Insurance.

          • oldhandatthis

            I would say most Americans don’t understand Obama Care because this administration has done a poor job of explaining it. Instead they allowed Republicans to get their negative messaging out mostly unchallenged.

            I believe the CBO forecast is Obama Care will create jobs not destroy them which makes sense when you think of all the new patients that will regularly be using health care.

            And the increased cost assumption is questionable too. Yes there are some new fees and taxes but Obama Care has already started to make a significant reduction in the annual cost increases associated with health insurance. There is a good chance this will more than offset new costs.

            No doubt the program will require some tweaks as it rolls out but then every large federal program does.

        • SWohio

          And you know that they Republicans did not offer constructive suggestions how?

          Are you privy to the stack of House bills sitting in the circular file box in Harry Reid’s office, that have never seen the light of day since they were sent over by the House for Senate consideration?

          • SWohio

            Oh, and stop with the blame game.

            It is childish, pathetic, and makes you and your fearless leader look downright stupid. And desperate.

          • oldhandatthis

            You mean the 40+ votes to kill Obama Care that the House keeps passing knowing it won’t happen? I can appreciate a symbolic vote but over forty votes on the same thing while important bills critical to the nation are being bungled by Republican leadership is a bad joke.

      • Dennis Mac

        The poor can’t afford HSAs, Obamacare requires that health insurers offer minimum plans in every state, tort reform is a minor expense overall, and most people already have no tax on their employer provided health insurance. None of those ideas help the uninsured, which is the goal od the ACA.

        • cubanbob

          The poor have Medicaid.

          • SWohio

            The U.S. Supreme Court determined in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius in June 2012 that the Medicaid mandate was unconstitutionally coercive to states that could not afford it. Many governors around the country have opted out of the expansion, and more are expected to in the future. As of June 14, a total of 13 states have opted out while 26 have signed on. The majority of the remaining states are moving towards non-participation or will pursue an alternative model.

        • MichaelKennedy

          A program that left the insured alone and paid for care of the poor and those with pre-existing conditions with clinics or a risk pool would be far less expensive and would involved far less intrusion into personal life than Obamacare.

    • Servius

      I kind of like unproductive Congresses. If we were to combine that with a law that sunset all laws and regulations after 7 years if not repassed, we’d have a perfect scenario.

      • oldhandatthis

        This congress is failing to take care of basic business and not because of any plan rather this is simple incompetence and poor leadership.

        • Servius

          That’s your assertion.

          I will say that as a party we need better strategy and maybe an agreement on what we want to accomplish. We seem to be split between being low-calorie Democrats and freedom loving Americans.

          And just for the record, spending gobs more money isn’t basic business in case you’re concerned about the House not passing more jobs plan for our ersatz president.

          • oldhandatthis

            Basic business is the Ag, Transportation, and Housing bills. Basic business is failing to pass any budget after demanding and getting a real budget from the Senate. Basic business is putting a major bill on the floor without making sure you have the votes to pass it.

          • MichaelKennedy

            ” getting a real budget from the Senate”

            When was that ? 2008 ?

          • oldhandatthis


  • Poughkeepsie

    Although commonly misinterpreted, the word “collectivism” does not refer to the social interaction, coordination, and voluntary association that arise spontaneously from our human nature.

  • Charles Kirtley

    Why would the Republicans want to replace Obamacare with a different version of it? The government’s involvement with health care is what got us into the mess we have today.

    • lyris

      Because they will chip at it until you won’t see anything that resembles ACA.

      Don’t trust the gop.

      • Charles Kirtley

        My point exactly.

  • -SA

    Protection for pre-existing conditions without a mandate? That dovetails nicely with my plan to wait until I get sick before buying insurance.

    • SWohio

      Of course that is what is going to happen. Why would young adults even need to buy health insurance? They are getting along without it just fine now, and Obamacare isn’t going to change that, at least not until it is too late to help prop up Obamacare.

  • lyris

    Do not trust the gop. They will make sure we get inferior care at higher cost.

  • Beeker

    demurring on whether the RSC would need outside stakeholders’ approval in order to move forward with the bill’s introduction. “There are very dramatic differences, not just in the policy but in the cost.”

    He declined to detail specifics — and those specifics have tripped up GOP efforts in the past.

    In other words, we will leave that out until our proposal pass first before rolling it out to the rest of us. It just like the passage of the Ryan budget blueprint and when it comes to actually putting out specifics of the spending cuts, it falls apart because no one is on board with the proposal to begin with except for political talking points.

    House Republicans have held 40 votes to repeal Obamacare
    Correction: It is 60+ votes to do so but I’ve lost count anyway.

    • SWohio

      Harry Reid will never let it see the light of day.

      If we did away with the limits on health care within states, then Aetna, UHC, Blue Cross and Humana’s pulling out of California wouldn’t make any difference.

      Of course tort reform would cut into the ambulance-chaser’s ability to make millions a la John Edwards – and thus cut into donations to the Dem party, so we can’t allow THAT to happen.

  • CJR

    If this new plan has ANY governmental requirements of either people or the states, or if it has any revenue stream, or if it contains aspects of Obamacare, enough members of the GOP will fight it hard enough for it to never make it to the House Floor.
    There is no herding cats.

  • thereasonableprogressive

    If Republicans want to replace the ACA, why don’t they follow the constitution: win some national elections? President Obama won reelection handily and Democrats picked up seats in the Senate and House. These results don’t suggest a national clamor to replace the health care law. So why all the legislative gimmicks and threats to shutdown government? Republicans, you claim to be strict constructionists. Accept election results and work to become a majority in the future. Then you can repeal Obamacare. Right now you just don’t have the legitimacy to so.

  • carey gire

    Beware person

    Who disparages others,

    But has no solutions to offer…

  • John Richter

    “Everyone in the US has healthcare already, just use the emergency room”….

    • GraceD

      Have you tried to get your blood pressure pills from the ER? How about your dialysis?.
      You might be wise to check out your information, before you post.

      • John Richter

        Uh… that was Bush’s response to reform efforts under him. Mccain’s advisor suggested the same, as did Virginia Fox.

      • quadrupole

        Dialysis is kind of a poor example as it automatically qualifies you for Medicare (not Medicaid, Medicare).

  • musicman495

    Steve Scalise at his best: “We Republicans can give you all those good health care things you want, none of those bad health care things you don’t want, and at much lower cost! Our secret is to make the Tooth Fairy the Secretary of HHS.”

  • yamyam

    The republicans have NOTHING. They never had ANYTHING.
    I hope they all get cancer.

    • John Richter

      But their voucher to seniors to buy their own insurance should cover a great policy for them because insurance companies love adding high risk exposure groups into the mutual pool.

    • SWohio

      What a nice person you must be! I’m glad I don’t know you.

    • A Smith

      Keeping it classy, Democrat-style.

  • JohnNFlorida

    IF (and that’s a very big IF) the Republicans bring forth a bill, it will be treated the same way as their infamous HEART Act of 1993. Introduced by Senator Lincoln Chaffee (R-RI) the bill garnered 19 more Republican Senators as Sponsors. The bill was the Republican answer to the bill labeled ‘HillaryCare” by derisive Republicans.
    As soon as the Republican were able to defeat “HillaryCare” the HEART ACT was poulled from the table and never received it’s first hearing in any committee.

    It was a ‘MacGuffin’, strictly a plot device with no intent for it to go any further. Something for the Republicans to point at and shout ‘we have a better plan.’

    The HEART Act was the first bill regarding Health Insurance that contained the Mandate for Universal subscription by all Americans. The bill served as the guide for the Massachusetts Health Care Law and also the legislation that became ‘ObamaCare’.

  • GraceD

    I will believe it when I see it. How long have republicans been saying they would replace the ACA?
    Just a lot of big talk. So far every bill they have put out (and this is very few) has had a poison pill attached. And then they just run around and mouth off instead of going to conference & compromising.
    Check out this “so called ” alternative, Rep Price, of Ga. is trying to sell. It is the same old Market based system that we had. With insurance companies driving the wagon.

    Republicans do not know how to gov. They are all talk. This is “too little, too late.”

    • Chuhyona

      America had the best medical system in the world so now you want Government to run it. They run the post office so well why not.

  • freedomfighterx

    Wake Up America. Socialism leads to Communism. Obamacare is about control. Share this documentary now: Grinding Down America: with your Friends & Family. Vote the Democratic Socialist Party out of office 2014. See what Barak & his communist party have planned for your family & America. You’ll be shocked & appalled.

  • skip1

    They don’t have a plan.

  • DrSquishy

    Let’s see if even the House Republicans will vote for it.

  • WilliamK

    The only way to make HC work in the USA is to make sure that everyone, everyone has skin in the game. We need the ability accumulate HSA. If people have the money for cigarettes, cable TV, lottery tickets they have the money to pay at least part of their HC. There needs to be discounts for good behavior. Non-smokers and those that are managing their weight should pay less. If you engage in risky behaviors your premiums should be higher. Allow me to buy across state-lines.

    Each of the states needs to wake up and reform mal-practice torts.

    We need more doctors.

  • Name goes here

    Not another “comprehensive” bill. Another kitchen sink full of crap nobody understands. Congress (the US Government) needs to get out of the insurance business. They need instead, to concentrate on ways to lower the cost of health care itself. Start with tort reform.

  • AZ_Langer

    Heaven forbid anyone might consider the Constitution and get the federal government the hell out of healthcare entirely. The “general Welfare” is precisely defined in Article 1, Section 8 and doesn’t include health care or anything close. Our Constitution was written to constrain the people who supposedly represent US. Instead, they are representing themselves and their own financial interests in, at our expense.

    I’m old enough to remember affordable health care. Then the politicians had to get involved and screwed it up just like they screw up everything they touch.

    What we need to legislate is just punishment for anyone who swears an oath to our Constitution but doesn’t remain faithful to it.

    • Rick Caird

      There should be a penalty for legislators who violate their oath to uphold the Constitution. There should be a higher penalty for President’s that do so.

  • Nonameworks

    “It would, however, have to pass muster with House Republican leaders, who have not yet been formally acquainted with the legislative text,”
    So why is that important? No one who voted for the Unaffordable Nightmare ever bothered to read it. After all, you have to pass it then read it, according to the best House Speaker ever, Miz Pelosi.

  • JDanaH

    “We address that to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions cannot be discriminated against.”
    This statement alone indicates the unseriousness of this “replacement” for Obamacare and is confirmation that establishment Republicans are nothing more than Democrats Lite. To say that insurers cannot “discriminate” by refusing to insure, say, someone with stage-III cancer is like saying home insurers cannot “discriminate” against homeowners whose houses are currently on fire.

  • A Smith

    They lost me at “comprehensive.” It’s always better to pass 250 10-page bills, than a single 2500-page bill.

    • AZ_Langer

      But it’s harder to hide all the payoffs and shenanigans in 10 page bills.

  • Jane the Actuary

    “Protection from pre-existing conditions”? If this is a pure “no pre-existing condition limitations” then this is monumentally stupid. More likely, this is variant on the existing HIPAA protection that, if one is continuously insured, insurers have to provide coverage — but the current protections don’t include individual health insurance, only group insurance. If I remember right, Romney/Ryan proposed extending the protection so that, as long as you remain continuously insured (individually or in a group), you’re protected.

    However, right now, the Democrats hold, if not all, then most of the cards. A simple set of reforms that keeps the existing largely employer-provided system intact won’t fly. The AEI recently put out a report on an alternative — — which is similar to my own pet solution (I call it “VoucherCare”).
    Republicans have to offer some variant of unversal coverage if they want to have legislative success rather than just useless votes.

  • jbowen43

    You can bet that it will include some way (or many ways) to block a citizen’s access to the courts for redress of injuries in the guise of “tort reform”. That is number one on the GOP hit parade.

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