When Policies Get Thin: Critiques On The Senate GOP’s Next Big Idea — A ‘Skinny” Repeal
Opinion writers offer strong warnings about the problems with the skinny repeal -- both in terms of using it as a strategy to advance Republican health reforms and as a policy construct that threatens to damage the individual health insurance market. One voice, however, sees it as the GOP's chance to eliminate the despised individual mandate.
The Washington Post:
The Hefty Downsides Of The ‘skinny’ Health-Care Proposal
After voting to move forward on repealing and replacing Obamacare — precipitously, and without any sense of where they would end up — Senate Republicans are trying to slap together a major health-care bill on the Senate floor. If their partisan power play works, the result would be the passage of bad legislation hiking deductibles and stripping insurance coverage from millions of people. If, on the other hand, they fail to bridge their disagreements, they may turn to what some are calling a “skinny repeal” and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has termed a “lowest common denominator.” It sounds bad, and it is. (7/26)
The New York Times:
Why ‘Skinny’ Obamacare Repeal Is A Terrible Idea
Skinny is often read as good today. We like skinny jeans, skinny models and, apparently, skinny health reform. It is likely that the Senate, which has just rejected repeal-and-replace and repeal-without-replace bills, will vote on a “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act. What does this actually mean, and what would it produce? The proposal most often labeled “skinny” would repeal the insurance mandate for individuals and larger employers under the banner of choice and freedom — both standard objectives of conservatives. It also would repeal taxes on medical-device manufacturers and, perhaps, also on insurers, with the goal of reducing the costs that must be reflected in premiums. (J.B. Silvers, 7/26)
The New York Times:
The Senate’s ‘Lowest Common Denominator’ Health Debate
To anybody tuning in to C-Span this week, the Senate health care debate might seem like a spirited, if somewhat convoluted, discussion about the Affordable Care Act. In reality, it is a Goldilocks-like search by Republicans for a bill that can get the bare minimum number of votes needed for the party to claim victory. (7/26)
The Washington Post:
Republicans Have A Chance To Eliminate The Individual Mandate. They Should Take It.
On Tuesday, the Senate voted to proceed with debate on a bill to replace Obamacare with market-oriented health reforms. The commencement of formal debate in the Senate is a critical milestone in the effort to make American health care more sustainable and affordable. Many have focused — understandably — on where Senate Republicans disagree on health-care reform. But Republicans also agree on much, and bringing the Better Care Reconciliation Act to the floor allows those agreements to take legislative form. (Avik Roy, 7/26)
GOP 'health' Bill Isn't About Health. It's About Winning And Job Protection.
Somewhere along the line, the health care debate stopped being about health care and devolved into how we are getting used to seeing the Trump administration do business. Threats to fire people or, if they’re in Congress, to work against them. So with any pretense gone, Trump’s point person on health care, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, described the administration’s new goal as “what gets us 50 votes so we can move forward.” Not a law which covers more people? Or reduces the cost of care? Or protects American families from bankruptcies? (Andy Slavitt, 7/27)
What's Next For The Republican Health-Care Bill
How did Mitch McConnell finally come up with the votes -- 50 of the 52 Republicans plus the vice president to break the tie -- to begin Senate debate and the amendments process on a Republican health-care bill? While it's hard to prove anything, Tuesday's big vote, like everything else that's happened so far since January, is consistent with the view that most Republicans in Congress believe this ends in failure, and (almost) all of them are scrambling to shift blame elsewhere. Which means it's still quite possible that they'll almost accidentally blame-shift their way into passing something none of them really want to see as law. (Jonathan Bernstein, 7/26)