ObamaCare Replacement Could Be a Tough Sell for GOP

Moderates, conservatives find plenty to dislike
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2017 6:12 AM CST
Updated Mar 7, 2017 6:45 AM CST
Republicans Split on ObamaCare Replacement
House Speaker Paul Ryan, meets with reporters on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Republicans rolled out their plan for replacing ObamaCare on Monday—but the "American Health Care Act" may not be much more popular with some GOP lawmakers than the Affordable Care Act before it. House conservatives haven't committed to backing the plan yet, Politico reports, and four GOP senators from states that expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare released a letter Monday expressing concern that the plan to repeal expansion after 2020 could lead to a "reduction in access to life-saving health care services" and saying they would not support a "plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations." A roundup of coverage:

  • This is the GOP's best shot yet at translating talk about repeal and replace into action, the Washington Post reports in a look at the plan's details, but the party faces a tough balancing act trying to please lawmakers worried about making entitlements permanent at the same time as those worried about people losing coverage.

  • The Hill reports that the House plan drops most of the taxes associated with ObamaCare, but keeps the "Cadillac" tax on the more expensive health plans. In a move that does not sit well with some conservatives, the tax will kick in after 2025.
  • Breitbart reports that conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer says more radical conservatives "are going to have to fall on their swords" over the plan. They're "going to have to concede the fact that Obama created an entitlement," he said on Fox, and trying to eliminate it "would destroy the presidency."
  • Critics say the biggest problem with the plan is that it appears certain to result in millions of people losing coverage, despite President Trump's assurances, CNN reports. "With Medicaid reductions and smaller tax credits, this bill would clearly result in fewer people insured than under the ACA," says Larry Levitt at the Kaiser Family Foundation. "The House GOP proposal seeks to reduce what the federal government spends on health care, and that inevitably means more people uninsured."
  • Slate describes the GOP plan as "hard to assess," since it "does not include a price tag or an estimate of how many Americans the plan will actually cover."
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was among Democrats who criticized the plan, saying "TrumpCare doesn’t replace the Affordable Care Act, it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care," Reuters reports.
  • Sen. Rand Paul tweeted that he hadn't seen "an official version of the House Obamacare replacement bill, but from media reports this sure looks like Obamacare Lite!"
  • Forbes finds plenty of "transformative and consequential reforms" to praise, but concludes that there is no escaping the fact that it will "make coverage unaffordable for millions."
(More ObamaCare stories.)

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