Perspectives On The GOP Repeal Bill: The Answer We’ve Been Waiting For Or Legislation That Will Do Harm?
With the release of the GOP's official legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, opinion writers take a hard look at what it might mean.
The Wall Street Journal:
The Health Bill You’ve Waited For
‘ObamaCare is collapsing,” President Trump said during his address to Congress last week, “and we must act decisively to protect all Americans.” House Republicans have heard the president’s message loud and clear. On Monday night the congressional committees we lead released the American Health Care Act, which will rescue those hurt by ObamaCare’s failures and lay the groundwork for a patient-centered health-care system. (Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Greg Walden, (R-Ore.), 3/6)
The New York Times:
G.O.P. Repeal Bill Would Cut Funding For Poor And Taxes On Rich
Republicans in the House have performed major surgery on the Obamacare replacement plan they circulated a few weeks ago. But compared with the Affordable Care Act, the new plan still shifts a lot of benefits from the poor to those who earn more. Legislative language for what House leaders call the American Health Care Act, released Monday evening, would substantially cut back funding to states that cover poor adults through their Medicaid program. It would cut back on financial assistance for relatively low-income insurance shoppers above the poverty line. (Margot Sanger-Katz, 3/6)
Los Angeles Times:
The GOP's Obamacare Repeal Plan Is Out--And It's Even Worse Than Anyone Expected
After weeks of expectations — actually, nearly seven years of expectations — House Republicans on Monday released their proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Elements of the proposal, which was kept under lock and key last week — have been dribbling out for a few days. The text of the bill encompassing the GOP plan validates much of that reporting. On the whole, however, it’s a nastier, more consumer-unfriendly proposal than even close followers could have expected. (Michael Hiltzik, 3/6)
The Washington Post:
Democrats’ Hypocrisy On Medicaid Reform
With Congress moving forward to repeal and replace Obamacare, it is no surprise that the law’s advocates are worried about their Washington-centered approach to health care being scrapped. It was surprising, however, to see former congressman Henry Waxman take up his pen to decry potential reforms to the Medicaid program — especially since the policies he criticized were ones he once supported. (Brett Guthrie, 3/6)
Why GOP Plans On Health Care Will Hurt All Women
Social conservatives opposed to women's health, rights and autonomy now control the White House, both houses of Congress and, at the state level, most governors' houses and legislatures. Even as these policymakers continue their assault on abortion rights, they are also poised to enact policy that will undercut US women's access to family planning services. (Ann M. Starrs, 3/7)
Selling Health Insurance Across State Lines Won't Save Money
Why do careful students of health care view cross-state sales of insurance skeptically? One reason is that it is already allowed –- and yet basically doesn’t happen. States possess the authority to sanction sales across their borders, and to define the conditions for such sales. In addition to this generic state authority, Section 1333 of Obamacare authorizes “health care choice compacts” across states. As of last month, five states had passed legislation allowing insurance plans that cross state lines: Rhode Island, Wyoming, Georgia, Kentucky and Maine. Georgia's law has been in effect since 2011, yet no insurer has yet offered an out-of-state policy there -- or in any of the other four states. If this is the key to bringing costs down, why doesn't anyone want to do it? (Peter R. Orszag, 3/6)
Los Angeles Times:
Fixing Healthcare: Which Single-Payer System Would Be Best For California?
It’s misleading to say that California could have a single-payer healthcare system just like in other developed nations. Other nations approach their single-payer systems in a variety of different ways. Canada’s system is different from Germany’s, which is different from Britain’s. Each country ensures that all residents have access to high-quality and affordable healthcare. But they take different roads to get there. (David Lazarus, 3/7)
As ACA Faces Repeal, California Has A Better Alternative
Senate Bill 562 would create a genuinely universal system for all Californians, with comprehensive covered services, no insurance networks that restrict patient choice of doctor, hospital or other provider, and no more copays, deductibles or surprise medical bills. By pooling what the state already pays for health care services, using the power of a single-payer system to negotiate bulk discounts, and eliminating the waste and profiteering of the insurers, we can protect all California families and set a model for other states about to be hammered by whatever comes out of Washington. (Deborah Burger, 3/6)
Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger:
Repealing Affordable Care, Medicaid Could Devastate Drug Treatment In N.J.
While the nation waits to see what will become of the ACA, it's painfully apparent to those of us on the front lines of the opioid and heroin epidemic that an outright repeal would create significant headwinds, in all aspects of our healthcare system, but especially in mental and behavioral healthcare. The most immediate concern would be changes to the Medicaid expansion ushered in under the ACA. ... Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has recently proposed a plan that would strip the program of $1 trillion in funding over the course of the next decade .... Congress is discussing changes to the federal Medicaid program which would jeopardize the recent expansion of addiction services in New Jersey and other states throughout the nation. (Robert J. Budsock, 3/6)
The Kansas City Star:
Trumpcare Will Be A Lot Like Obamacare But With Less Money
We’re nearing the endgame in the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. House Republicans offered their proposal Momday, and the Trump White House may have something to say this week. Votes are possible this month. ... But the truth will eventually become obvious: Trumpcare is Obamacare, only with less money. (Dave Helling, 3/6)