HEALTH CARE: Uncertainty reigns with Obamacare repeal looming

If the new, Donald Trump-backed health care plan, proposed by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act of 2010, successfully passes the House and Senate and is signed into law by Trump, numerous Americans most directly hurt by the new law will be Trump voters themselves.

The House plan keeps two popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act - adult children can stay on their parents' health plans up to age 26 and insurers cannot deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

"How many people are going to lose coverage?" Some of those are the shift from a fee-for-service payment model to value-based reimbursement; a rise in high deductible plans and increased consumer responsibility; and partnerships between health care entities like hospitals, ambulance services and nursing homes. These are the Republicans who have to do the heavy lifting, and they know that means not losing moderate Republicans who want low-income families to feel secure about their health care.

"We've been promising for six years we were going to do something about it", Grassley said. Some Republican conservatives say it doesn't go far enough.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made it illegal for insurers to deny or charge people more money because of a history of illness.

If it wasn't for Medicaid expansion, 23-year-old Monika Calderon says, she has no idea how she could have covered expenses to remove a brain tumor.

Still, some of the most vulnerable congressman could be those from districts that Trump easily won past year, including Meadows' western N.C. district.

"They have majorities in the House and Senate, and it will be a complete embarrassment if they are not able to deliver on their most visible campaign pledge", West said. Who knows? Paul Ryan was asked the question yesterday and said, "I can't answer that question".

The next step for the bill is the House Budget Committee, where it should face few issues.

In the recently proposed legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, Ryan's American Health Care Act, the availability of health insurance for those with pre-existing conditions may be safeguarded but at what premium level? "Because this isn't a government mandate".

Trump is slated to host an event in Nashville next week to begin selling the health care reform bill to Americans. "Americans deserve access to health care that is truly affordable, allows them to make choices that fit their needs, and keeps Washington out of the doctor-patient relationship - all of which Obamacare has failed to deliver". But Republicans can take the filibuster option away by using the "reconciliation" process, which is an option if, and only if, the tax bill doesn't increase government deficits in the long term, relative to existing law. Under Obamacare, a $20,000 income would have earned an average $3,225 tax credit, with that phasing out by the time income reached $48,000.

  • Joanne Flowers