Republicans are about to take a tremendous risk that could strip them of their power
The Republicans have released their repeal-and-replace healthcare plan. Here’s what you need to know.
It is well documented how many times the Republicans voted to completely repeal Obamacare without any replacement. Now that they are finally in power, they have been slow to come to a vote. That’s because they now want to repeal AND replace. Pundits have criticized the Republicans for bringing their new plan out too slowly.
The main problem voters ought to have is this: the Republicans’ promise has always been “repeal.”
Not “repeal and replace.”
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They are going back on promises they made to their electorate. Those promises helped get them elected. The new bill is being ram-rodded by Establishment acolyte Paul Ryan. Senator Rand Paul is against the new bill, which he calls “Obamacare Lite.” He favors a different strategy of voting on a clean repeal, like the Republicans have done in the past. Afterwards, they would then debate on what the replacement strategy would look like.
But at last (“alas”?), it’s here. Republicans are running a tremendous risk. Obamacare is hated. Insurance premiums have risen. Benefits have declined. The safest path would have been complete repeal without any replacement. But now, for better or worse, if they replace Obamacare with something else, they will now fall under the old adage, “If you break it, you buy it.”
If it passes, the Republicans will become the owners of Obamacare’s mess. They can never again blame Obama, Pelosi, and the Democrats for throwing the American people under the bus. This is a tremendous risk. Right now, Obamacare costs are skyrocketing. It is failing in full public view. People are seriously angry with it, so they are seriously angry with the Democrats who voted the bill through (without even reading it first).
When Trumpcare, or Obamacare Lite, or Obamacare 2.0, also begins exhibiting the same symptoms, Republicans can’t point back to the Democrats. If it becomes hated, then they will feel that hatred when voting season comes around.
Will the replacement legislation be any better than Obamacare? Only time will tell. But let’s look at it’s more promising provisions first.
SOME ENCOURAGING NEWS
Let’s start with the tax. The Republicans have removed the penalty (redefined as a “tax” by the Supreme Court) for not having insurance. This is a promise related to one of the first executive orders Trump issued, which was to the IRS to basically stop enforcing the penalty. Instead, insurance companies will be allowed to charge up to a 30% penalty for those who have gaps in coverage.
The replacement program seems to move towards a more incentivized program to encourage people to buy insurance, rather than forcing them under threat of fines if they don’t.
To go along with that, there will be a system of subsidies in the form of tax credits to help people of various age groups and income levels afford insurance. ZeroHedge summarizes:
At its core, in place of the existing Affordable Care Act legislation, republicans will implement a system centered on a tax credit to help people buy insurance. That tax credit would range from $2,000 to $4,000 annually increasing with age. That system would provide less financial assistance for low-income and older people than ObamaCare, but could give more assistance to younger people and those with somewhat higher incomes.
But there are serious ideological problems associated with the replacement bill, too. Breitbart summarized Rand Paul’s four main points like this:
Paul opened his exclusive interview in his U.S. Senate office in the Russell Senate Office Building by explaining exactly what is wrong with Ryan’s Obamacare bill, a bill he calls “Obamacare Lite.” He said there are four major reasons that Ryan’s bill is wrong; specifically that it creates an entitlement program, that it does not effectively handle Obamacare taxes and even keeps the Cadillac Tax indefinitely, the keeping of Obamacare’s individual mandate, and the keeping of Obamacare’s risk corridors—but simply renaming them.
To read a comprehensive list of what’s being added, and what’s being removed, click here to keep reading at ZeroHedge.com.