For A Party That Hates Obamacare, Republicans’ Current Bill Looks A Whole Lot Like It
Republicans are finding out they need to keep a lot of the provisions from the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, some senators say they may be weeks away from a vote.
How The Senate Health Bill Became ‘Obamacare Lite’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell famously promised to rip out Obamacare “root and branch,” a sentiment echoed by Republicans on the campaign trail for seven years. But Obamacare is proving harder to eradicate than kudzu, and Republicans may be stuck with major parts of Barack Obama’s legacy. (Demko, 7/6)
Conservatives Revolt Over Talk Of Keeping ObamaCare Tax
Conservative groups are warning GOP senators against keeping an ObamaCare tax on investment income in their healthcare bill, an idea that has gained some traction among lawmakers. GOP lawmakers have floated keeping ObamaCare’s 3.8-percent net investment income tax (NIIT) to help pay for more generous healthcare subsidies for low-income people. Democrats criticized an earlier version of the Senate’s ObamaCare repeal bill for eliminating the tax because it generally applies to high earners. (Jagoda, 7/7)
Los Angeles Times:
Republicans Are In Charge. So Why Can't They Deliver On Healthcare?
For the better part of a decade, “repeal and replace” has been Republican gospel, a political talking point and policy manifesto. Other issues that long served as the glue holding together the disparate GOP coalition — free trade, a deep and abiding suspicion of Russia, “traditional family values” — have loosened their grip on the party and its voters. (Barabak, 7/6)
Senate Republicans Say They're Weeks Away From Healthcare Vote
Republican senators are downplaying the chances of a quick vote next week on their ObamaCare replacement bill amid divisions in the party over what the legislation should look like. "We're still several weeks away from a vote, I think,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said at an event Wednesday. (Sullivan, 7/6)
And in other news related to the Republicans' health care efforts —
Chaffetz Slams House GOP: You Still Can’t Point To A Single Thing We’ve Done On Healthcare
Former GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah) said members of Congress are frustrated with Republican leadership for not living up to promises to voters and passing a healthcare bill. He said on Fox News that the GOP did not follow through on its promises to pass the healthcare bill despite having control over the House, Senate and the presidency. He said lawmakers promised to have a plan for repealing and replacing ObamaCare on Trump’s desk by the time he took office in January, but there is still no bill seven months later. (Eberhardt, 7/6)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
What Does Sen. Rob Portman Want? Can He Get To 'Yes' On Health Care?
Sen. Rob Portman is back in Ohio, promoting treatment for opioid abuse during this week's congressional break -- and being confronted by critics who fear he'll help slice health care benefits in a vote later this summer. Health care, and specifically the Obamacare repeal-and-replace proposals, is dogging the second-term Ohio Republican unlike any other bill he has had to vote on. (Koff, 7/6)
Kaiser Health News:
Podcast: What The Health? Why Is This Stuff So Complicated?
Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post discuss the latest on the Senate’s effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, and why it is so difficult to make popular changes, such as requiring insurers to cover people with preexisting health conditions. (7/6)
Don’t Expect Health Coverage If You Survive A Gunshot Wound
Among gunshot survivors, 51-year-old House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is an outlier. Such victims are more likely to be low-earning black men between the ages of 15 and 24. Scalise, who is white, does share one fundamental characteristic with these younger men: Being shot means he now has a pre-existing condition in the eyes of health insurers. For most people, that status could mean more financial suffering under a Republican rollback of the Affordable Care Act. (Woolley, 7/6)