It appears they don't have the votes.
So, not knowing yet the actual outcome of the American Health Care Act, let me make these observations, which also dovetails with comments I made yesterday on Facebook.
Last night and for weeks, Speaker Ryan has promoted the legislation as the
Repeal and Replacement of Obamacare. Trump has been parroting this claim, saying this is the last chance to do so.
For now, it might be the last chance to significantly do damage to the Affordable Care Act, but under no circumstance, is it a repeal.
The only repeal prospects would be the legislation that has been supported by the conservative Freedom Caucus. This Ryan legislation is a gradual modification of the law but it keeps into place one of the major components, the pre-existing conditions coverages, although, there is uncertainty how that would be funded. The honest approach would be for the President and the Speaker to call it for what it is )or perhaps was), the
“Republican Best Chance to Modify Obamacare, without really repealing it” bill.
Trump has warned the House Republicans that if they vote against the legislation, they will pay the price of not repealing and replacing Obamacare. True, they might pay a price for not doing significant structural damage to it, but, if the goal is to fulfill campaign promises made by Republicans, the President and the Speaker are trying to fool the country. This legislation absolutely does not do what they claim it does and ultimately, the truth will be exposed should Trump and Ryan try to pin the fault on those opposing it.
Travel back in time for a second. Remember the complaints from the Republicans regarding the healthcare legislation and the law after it was passed? They complained ferociously about the process. Now, many of those who are proponents of the way that Trump and Ryan Care has been handled are silent on the process” issue.
Who can forget John Boehner and so many others scream about voting for legislation that nobody has read? And then, there were the secret deals, especially the Louisiana Purchase, that ultimately caused Democrat Louisiana US Senator Mary Landrieu’s loss of her Senate seat. The media has noted numerous deals made by President Obama to specific Congress people to sway their individual votes. Where are the cries of “selling out”?
Of course, there’s the Pelosi, plea to vote for Obamacare so we “know what’s in it”. However, this is exactly what Ryan and Trump want us to do with their legislation. And there is a serious question whether the President knows what’s in the legislation. Remember, he said healthcare would be easy.
How about the complaints that Democrats rushed into the legislation and did not reach out to Republicans. True, they did not include republican ideas, but they surely did not rush into the voting. There were town hall meetings all over to explain the legislation. The process went on for roughly two years. Only a couple of weeks ago, the final, (well, shall we say, the final bill, before modifications and then more compromise and modifications), was released to the public.
Trump promised that it would be easy, that everybody would be covered with lower premiums.
And, republicans mocked Obama about promises about keeping your doctor and insurance policies?
WILL I HAVE INSURANCE?
Here’s is the essence of a question I posted last night and that I have been asking experts for three years: If Obamacare was completely repealed without replacement, to use the legislation from last year favored by the Freedom Caucus, will we have insurance? The law went into place and all policies were framed with it. If the law ended, why would insurance companies honor our insurance policies? Would they automatically become null and void?
Indeed, insurance policies are a contract for a term certain but with conditions, such as payment of premiums. But, if the law that governs Obamacare is no longer in place, such as pre-existing conditions and if it were outright repealed, then wouldn’t the pre-existing conditions, for example, also terminate?
So am I.
Which is my point. How can the Freedom Caucus or anybody try to repeal Obamacare without having these questions discussed and answered?
Insurance companies are businesses. Remember President Trump telling us, as a candidate, he had an obligation to his company, thus, he made contributions to politicians, while complaining about his opposition receiving them from people such as himself? With the repeal, the law would disappear and the financing structure for pre-existing conditions would be eliminated. So, on this issue alone, why would an insurance company pay out claims if they are not getting paid what they thought they would be receiving to insure people who suffer from conditions that prior to Obamacare, would not be covered automatically?
Don’t get me wrong. Obamacare made major changes in our economy, in our healthcare and in our delivery of insurance. Radically changing it was being attempted by Paul Ryan, again, not repeal and replace. Tearing it out by its roots, as some local politicians have called the repeal they were promising to make, has never been fully discussed. We just don’t know what lawsuits would take place by the states and insureds and insurance companies.
But, I guess, a full examination of these ultimate issues are not important, after all, repealing healthcare would be easy.
Pollster John Couvillon and I recently discussed during a Facebook Live interview, the issue of Trump’s popularity. Couvillon said that from the inauguration to this week, Trump’s popularity has declined only two points. However, he said, Trump would need some legislative victories to turn this gradual decline around. Watch the segment of this part of the interview.