·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Grinding to a Halt

— March 24, 2017

Donald Trump has spent a busy few days in Washington trying to negotiate with Republican legislators on the conditions of a proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. A number of House conservatives have voiced their disapproval of the replacement measure, stoking fears in the GOP that a planned vote may not take place this week after all.

The President has different plans.

During a meeting Thursday, officials told CNN that Donald Trump had demanded action by Friday evening. White House aides have spent the better part of the last several days meeting with Republican legislators, many of whom remain on the fence about an Obamacare repeal. The number of representatives needed to vote “yes” is less than what would be needed to pass the Republican-backed plan to the Senate.

Trump has been vocal about the need to hold a vote, threatening that Republicans who don’t support the measure could lose their seats in the next election. According to CNN, he has since resorted to saying that American might be “stuck with Obamacare” if the resolution isn’t approved Friday.

Republicans cannot pass their revision of the ACA if 21 or more members of their caucus refuse to support it. As of Thursday, 26 conservative representatives had said they wouldn’t vote in favor of the resolution, while an additional four are expected to say no as well.

Democrats and liberal critics of the repeal movement got plenty of ammunition when the Congressional Budget Office released a report last week. The CBO estimates that the Republican-proposed plan would cause 24 million Americans to lose health insurance coverage within the next ten years.

The GOP representatives who haven’t committed to the cause are largely split in their rationale. Some have echoed the complaints of constituents who are concerned that the tax credits, which would replace Obamacare subsidies, are insufficient to pay for costly premiums. Others don’t believe the Republican plan does enough to rid America of what they view as a sort of socialist insurance scheme. Tea Party groups and far-right legislators called the reform “Obamacare Lite.”

Paul Ryan has been a big proponent of the Obamacare repeal and overhaul; image courtesy of Joshua Roberts, Reuters

The commander-in-chief has been working hard to try and strike some balance between hardline Republicans and their more moderate counterparts.

Representative Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican, gave his opinion earlier in the day.

“I believe this bill, in its current form, will lead to the loss of coverage and make insurance unaffordable for too many Americans, particularly low- to moderate-income and older individuals,” he said in a statement.

One recurring criticism of the plan and its tax credits is that they benefit few demographics other than rather young adults. Senior citizens and middle-aged workers too young to qualify for Medicare could see their premiums rise by thousands of dollars annually.

The Republican plan would slash funding for Medicaid.

Media analysts from CNN and Reuters do not believe the Republican plan is likely to pass in its current form if a vote is made Friday.


Trump fights for healthcare bill, makes headway with conservatives

Trump team ultimatum: No more talks, time to vote

Join the conversation!