Tag Archives: ObamaCare

A political opening for universal health care?

Source: The Atlantic
by Vann R Newkirk II

"The Senate confirmed Tom Price as secretary of health and human services at 2 a.m. on Friday. After a contentious confirmation process, the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress had finally installed one of the leading generals in its war on Obamacare in the department that oversees its programs. Price is a titan in the GOP camp that wants to repeal the health law, and is perhaps one of the few Republican lawmakers with both the vision and the experience needed to begin the daunting task. But the battlefield under Price's feet has shifted substantially in the past few weeks. Republicans have splintered, the timeline for repeal has dragged on and on, alternative plans have propagated in the fertile soil of disunion, and some have lost their resolve. And in the turmoil over the fate of Obamacare, the idea of universal health care has emerged as a third way among voters in both parties." (02/14/17)


Humana, Aetna, abandon $37 billion merger

Source: USA Today

"Health insurer Aetna abandoned its proposed $37 billion merger Tuesday of insurer Humana after the company decided to not appeal a federal judge's ruling against the acquisition on antitrust grounds. The health insurance companies came to a mutual agreement to terminate the merger, according a statement from Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Berolini. Aetna owes Humana a $1 billion payment as a result of the deal's collapse in what's known as a breakup fee. The deal was scuttled after U.S. District Court Judge John Bates ruled in January that the deal was 'likely to substantially lessen competition' in certain markets for Medicare Advantage plans and Affordable Care Act options." (02/14/17)


How Republicans can save themselves from their Obamacare trap

Source: The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

"When Republicans unexpectedly won unified control of the federal government in November, they began speaking of repealing the Affordable Care Act as fait accompli. Obamacare would be on borrowed time by the spring, replaced by the summer or fall, and wiped off the books forever within a couple years. Three months later, their bravado has given way to panic and confusion. Republicans find themselves beset by angry and alarmed constituents at their district offices and public events every weekend. They have defensively characterized these demonstrations as paid astroturf and threats to public safety, but it is just as likely they are questioning protesters’ legitimacy to avoid confrontations like this one, between Representative John Faso of New York and a constituent with a brain tumor." (02/08/17)


Establishment Republicans risk achieving a progressive dream

Source: Hawaii Reporter
by Frank Salvato

"One of the motivating factors of those who chose to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 General Election was his promise to affect the repeal of the Affordable Care & Patient Protection Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. … it is incredibly disappointing to hear that some establishment Republicans — including two traditionally thoughtful men — are floating the idea of not repealing the total of the law and, instead, 'repairing it.' Sens. Orin Hatch (R-UT), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), are espousing just that notion. They, along with usual suspect Republicans in Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), are providing the avenue to a catastrophe that Progressives and Liberal Democrats could have only dreamed of achieving: the fracture of the Republican Party and creation of a third political party." [editor's note: He says that last part like it's a bad thing – TLK] (02/07/17)


Ryan: Obamacare replacement will pass this year

Source: Reuters

"The U.S. House of Representatives' Republican leader said on Tuesday that legislation to replace former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law would be completed this year, trying to dispel the idea that the party is retreating from its campaign promise to dismantle Obamacare quickly. 'The question is how long does it take to implement the full replacement of Obamacare,' House Speaker Paul Ryan told a news briefing. 'We hope to get this done as fast as possible.' Ryan was responding to questions about Republican President Donald Trump's weekend interview with Fox News in which he said it might take until next year to replace the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, which Republicans consider federal government overreach. Trump and congressional Republicans campaigned on a promise to scrap the 2010 healthcare law. But they are struggling to agree on a replacement for the law, which has enabled up to 20 million previously uninsured Americans to obtain health coverage." (02/07/17)


On Obamacare, Congress doesn't know best

Source: USA Today
by Blaine Winship

"As the lead trial counsel for 26 states in their historic constitutional challenge to Obamacare, I was well aware that the purported justification for imposing so drastic a change was that millions of Americans were uninsured. But many who fell into this category were young, healthy adults who were uninsured by choice. The number of uninsurable persons with severe preexisting medical conditions was much smaller. Regardless, their needs could have been met by simply making them eligible for Medicare. … But that simple option was rejected in favor of a sweeping, top-down overhaul of our healthcare system that was designed to destroy private insurance en route to a single-payer system, placing the federal government in control of a fifth of our economy."(01/30/17)


Obamacare repeal would not be a disaster

Source: USA Today
by Sally C Pipes

"From #MakeAmericaSickAgain (Senator Charles E. Schumer's [D-NY] latest catchphrase) to #CoverageMatters, Twitter hashtags have emerged as the rhetorical weapon of choice for defenders of Obamacare. One of the latest is #the27percent, supposedly the share of Americans under the age of 65 with pre-existing conditions who are at risk of losing coverage if Obamacare is repealed, according to a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. But the 140-character version of Obamacare's story leaves out a lot — including the truth. The overwhelming majority of 'the 27%' are in no danger of losing coverage after Obamacare is repealed and replaced. In fact, a straightforward reading of the data reveals that the pre-existing condition crisis used to sell Obamacare to voters never actually existed." (01/28/17)


The LAVA Spurt, episode 29

Source: The LAVA Flow Podcast

"Healthcare is a mess in this country thanks in no small part to Obamacare. Rand Paul has a new bill that he wants to use to replace Obamacare. Is this a good bill? This is the twenty-ninth episode of The LAVA Spurt, Rand Paul's Obamacare Replacement Act." [various formats] (01/26/17)


Out of our misery

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Obamacare itself undermined Obamacare. The plan, from the beginning, was so gimcrack with hidden redistribution that, to both opponents and proponents, it was designed to fail … to usher in the Glorious Era of socialized medicine. Since Obamacare increased 'insurance' costs for hundreds of thousands of previous insurance policy holders, and increased medical costs generally, too, it actually discouraged participation from the healthiest, many of whom would rather pay the exorbitant fines, er, 'taxes.' Throwing the insurance industry into a death spiral. So, putting the system out of our misery sooner seems sensible." (01/26/17)


Democrats should seriously consider this GOP alternative to Obamacare

Source: The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

"Against a backdrop of increasing liberal concerns that Democrats in Congress are being too solicitous of President Donald Trump, too accommodating of his cabinet nominees, too concerned about the challenges they will face in the 2018 midterms, it is worth noting that Democrats have given Republicans no quarter in their efforts to abolish the Affordable Care Act. Democrats have insisted, too, that any alternative health care reform plan be just as expansive as Obamacare and provide people access to a similar level of care. In that spirit, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was unsparing Monday in his critique of a rare proposal by two Republican senators that, unlike other GOP proposals, doesn’t call for undoing all of Obamacare’s progress and starting over." (01/25/17)