Friday, 19 April, 2019

Democrats pounce as Trump administration ratchets up attack on Obamacare

President Donald J. Trump speaks with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar by his side during an event on lowering drug prices in the Rose Garden of the White House Loss of Obamacare would mean significant changes for many Americans: A.M. News Links
Celia Hoffman | 30 March, 2019, 14:53

Members of the MA delegation have vowed to protect the Affordable Care Act and broaden its protections in the face of a new Justice Department effort to eliminate the law. "By taking this court case, he's taken the position of repeal, but we don't have a replacement".

"The President, I don't think, really has any idea what he's really saying there".

In 2010, the bishops withheld their support for the health care legislation because of what they saw as "fundamental flaws", such as a lack of conscience protection and failure to exclude elective abortions from health plans subsidized with federal funds. On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked the introduction of new work requirements for Medicaid recipients in Arkansas and Kentucky, ruling that the changes undermined the goal of the program to provide health care for low-income Americans.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates wrote in his opinion late Thursday that so-called "association health plans" were "clearly an end-run" around consumer protections required by the Obama-era Affordable Care Act. But the decision for the Department of Justice to support the full repeal of ACA, better known as Obamacare, makes a significant departure from Jeff Sessions's tenure as Attorney General.

"The administration will continue to fight for sole proprietors and small businesses so that they can have the freedom to band together to obtain more affordable, quality healthcare coverage", a Justice Department spokesman said. Republicans managed to block Bill Clinton's overhaul in 1994.

Some on the left had their hopes dashed after the Mueller Russia probe ended this weekend without new criminal indictments, but the party's top strategists - in the presidential campaigns and Congress - have always viewed bread-and-butter economic issues, including access to affordable medical treatment, as the key to their continued electoral success. That's much safer ground for Republicans, according to Mr. Goeas.

More news: What Next: Defeat of Theresa May's deal means new Brexit precipice

Every American should be greatly concerned about health care. Seniors, a powerful voting group, fear adding more people to a program that is in jeopardy for funding and for which they already have to wait in line, he says.

Going back and "relitigating" past policy battles is "a mistake", said Rep. Mark Meadows, a close ally of the president and member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

In the 2018 campaign, Republicans running for Congress pledged to protect patients from being denied coverage, or charged high premiums, because of pre-existing conditions. They will not get this from the Republicans.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who voted against her party's repeal effort in 2017, said that if the administration is opposed to Obamacare, "the answer is for the administration to work with Congress and present a plan to replace and fix the law, not to, through the courts, seek to invalidate it altogether". "They want lower costs and they want better choices". If "Obamacare" is overturned Republicans would be on the hook in the 2020 election year to come up with an alternative. Rick Scott of Florida introduced a bill to prevent drug companies from charging USA customers more than they charge other developed countries, like Canada. That frees them from having to adhere to some of Obamacare's rules, particularly the one requiring insurers to offer comprehensive coverage.

"If the Republican Party wants to be, in Donald Trump's words, the party of healthcare, God help the middle class", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday on the Senate floor. "That is not, however, in any way, a broad substitute for the Affordable Care Act".

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