PUBLISHED ON MARCH 14, 2017
With the exception of insurance company CEO’s and the wealthiest 0.1% of Americans, everyone is unhappy about the Trump/Ryan healthcare repeal. Even the ordinarily obsequious Republicans in Congress are terrified by the premise of campaigning in districts where coverage has plummeted and premiums have spiked. So today, GOP leaders from both chambers in Congress had some unexpected words for the Administration.
Make it more like Obamacare.
They didn’t say it to be funny, and the truth is really quite sad: After years of voting to repeal Obamacare every few weeks, Republicans never gave any serious thought to how it would work. As a result, they embraced the thing they hate most. Literally every Republican demand is already law — signed by President Obama seven years ago as part of the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare).
After a meeting between Vice President Pence, Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and Republican Senate Leaders, Mitch McConnell said only that the bill “will be open to amendment in the Senate.” The Associated Press spoke to several of the meeting’s participants and laid out exactly what those amendments would be:
- Target the bill’s new tax credits to lower-earning people (the way Obamacare subsidies are currently administered).
- Retain the benefits seniors currently receive.
- Protect Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
- All that’s missing are the hats: “Make Trumpcare Obamacare Again.”
No word yet on how palatable these changes will be to rank-and-file conservatives in the House and Senate, most of whom have voted 65 times to repeal Obamacare outright. Although, the people in the room (including Pence and Price) voted with them every single time, so time will tell.