White House and Secretary Price State Support For Passing Health Bill

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This post contains below analysis of the Health Care bill in the senate,  the statement by Secretary Price and a statement from the white house regarding the CBO analysis, and a white house statement on the failed state of ObamaCare.
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By Mike Roulette, June 27/2017
It seems very difficult to know if all is right with the bill presented to the senate by the house after it’s modifications by 13 senators in secret meetings and now revealed to us all.
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To be sure, it does major things to defang ObamaCare. It will enable many choices for consumers for insurance, it will not kill jobs and will allow business’ to expand without the thumb of government forcing them to restrain hiring in order to avoid huge costs to be imposed on them.
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But the’ gang of four’ conservatives with Rand Paul being the biggest voice in the matter are not happy for legitimate reasons.  While the president is optimistic about passage, it is very difficult to understand how the differences between the gang of four and the current plan, which are gargantuan, are going to be worked out in negotiation.  It is also hard to understand how the gang of 13 would unveil this knowing that they would have 4 votes against them coming out of the gate. It seems the president himself will need to go down to the capitol and get into a serious get it done meeting with the senate to pull this off.
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The G4 want the subsidies to be cut by at least 80%.  So imagine, the current bill spends the same or more tax money as Obamacare on subsidizing insurance companies, who the G4 points out make 15 billion in profits a year.  Now the G4 want that number cut by 80%. This is assumed to be the meaning of Rand Paul’s statement that he could agree to even 80% of what he wanted on subsidies and regulations.  If they would get their cut, then like a squeezed balloon another bubble of senators would appear stating their vote switching to no for the bill being ‘mean’.  And maybe that would include the president who wants more ‘heart’.  Is seems unclear if that is what the president means.
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On top of the huge subsidy dilemma, the G4 says that 10 of 12 of Obamacare regulations would still be in place.  This includes the right to buy insurance only before you need it which means the insurance company loses huge and has to pass that cost onto the consumer. It also excludes consumers from buying low cost insurance. So how are they going to negotiate down to say 3,4, or maybe 5 regulations to get the G4 vote?  And how are they going to do this by July 4? Really senator McConnell? It also imposes a 30% rate penalty for those who don’t buy insurance within an enrollment requirement. This seems to be a replacement for having to pay a tax for not having insurance under Obamacare.
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Senator Paul also points out that tax money for health care is not in the constitution and that health care should be mostly in the purview of the free market economy. He reminds us that regulations restricting the consumer’s right to the open market are also not in the constitution. These are in fact conservative values.  The policies in the bill regarding subsidies and regulations are easily arguable to be progressive/socialist and not what conservatives should be shooting for.
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The biggest problem here is that the republicans, including the president, has accepted the idea entirely that the government will somehow pay for those who “cannot afford” health care. This is entirely against conservatism it is true.  But so was social security and medicaid. So now this new entitlement is accepted, but without agreement by the G4.
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Why wouldn’t it be easier to revert to a full free market, mostly unregulated, heath care industry where the forces of capitalism, consumer choice, and competition can operate unfettered exist for the majority of Americans as it once did.   Then, if we are going to accept paying for those who are in need, develop a completely separate insurance pool for them and set just make a straight up tax on citizens at the state and federal level to pay for it.
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With the health policy that accomodates all people in one plan, things get complicated and convoluted it seems. And with this single package for all, the differences in opinion are gigantic differences to negotiate and it seems unreasonable it can be achieved soon, if at all. It could make one wonder about the validity of rumors and rumblings expousing the notion that the bill is “designed to fail” for other reasons even more difficult to understand.
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What could happen to make this pass the muster of the 5 who now oppose it?   Perhaps there will be an agreement to go back to the notion of ‘phases’.  That the senate could agree that there would be contiguous legislation that would seek to reduce subsidies and regulations.  This might be a victory path to get us what we all want, in some steps?
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

HHS Secretary Price: The Senate plan takes a key step in turning health care reform from vision to reality

HHS SECRETARY TOM PRICE: THE SENATE PLAN TAKES A KEY STEP IN TURNING HEALTH CARE REFORM FROM VISION TO REALITY

“By its very own standards, the so-called Affordable Care Act has failed. The real work — and the real test of leadership — begins the moment when the question is no longer what you’re against, but what you’re for.”

U.S. Health And Human Services Secretary: New health care reforms are part of careful deliberation
By Tom Price
Deseret News
June 25, 2017

For much of the past seven years, patient-centered healthcare advocates have been united in opposition to Obamacare. Not just the law itself, but the damage it has inflicted on our health care system, the chaos it has sown in our insurance markets and the suffering it has caused in the lives of millions of Americans. But we have not put as much time into articulating to the American people what we are for.

Opposing Obamacare is easy. The facts and broken promises speak for themselves.

By its very own standards, the so-called Affordable Care Act has failed.

The real work — and the real test of leadership — begins the moment when the question is no longer what you’re against, but what you’re for.

President Trump wasted no time explaining to the American people what kind of health care system we are for. Within weeks of taking the oath of office, the president stood before the Congress and the country to lay out a positive vision for affordable, accessible and high-quality healthcare for all Americans.

At the center of this vision are individual patients and families in control of their healthcare dollars and decisions. They are empowered to purchase the plan that meets their needs — with the resources and freedom to shop for value in a truly competitive national marketplace — and to see the doctors of their choosing. They are secure in the knowledge that they will never again run the risk of being denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. And the health care safety net, should they need it, is designed by those closest to them, at the state and local level, who know the unique health needs of their communities.

The health care reform proposal recently introduced in the Senate is a key step in turning this vision into a reality. Built on patient-centered reforms, the Senate plan would provide immediate relief to Utahns from the burdens of Obamacare by repealing the law’s most onerous taxes, rolling back its most costly regulations and revitalizing our hollowed out insurance markets.

From your pioneering days, Utah has defined itself by what it’s for, not what it’s against. We need this same clarity of purpose in Washington today. The patient-centered proposals in Congress right now represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to undo the damage caused by an ill-conceived experiment in government-run health care. We’ve waited long enough. Now is the time to act.

Read the full op-ed here.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

White House Statement on CBO Healthcare Report

The CBO has consistently proven it cannot accurately predict how healthcare legislation will impact insurance coverage. This history of inaccuracy, as demonstrated by its flawed report on coverage, premiums, and predicted deficit arising out of Obamacare, reminds us that its analysis must not be trusted blindly.  In 2013, the CBO estimated that 24 million people would have coverage under Obamacare by 2016.  It was off by an astounding 13 million people – more than half—as less than 11 million were actually covered.  Then, CBO estimated that 30 million fewer people would be uninsured in 2016, but then it had to reduce its estimate to 22 million, further illustrating its inability to present reliable healthcare predictions.

We know the facts.  To date, we have seen average individual market premiums more than double and insurers across the country opting out of healthcare exchanges.  As more and more people continue to lose coverage and face fewer healthcare choices, President Trump is committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare, which has failed the American people for far too long.

Obamacare is Failing Americans

Today, families from across the country joined me at the White House to share their healthcare journeys and discuss the urgent need to repeal and replace Obamacare. Their stories aren’t unlike the lives of so many Americans suffering under this failed law.

Stories like Christine Chalkey and her son Jacob, who has a very rare condition and receives treatment through Medicaid in Illinois. The state’s expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare means that the people who need care the most – like Jacob – have seen shrinking services. Christine called Obamacare’s impact “an injustice happening to the truly most vulnerable.”

David Moody, from Nevada, is a retired police officer who couldn’t afford an expensive Obamacare plan for both him and his wife, so he went uninsured so his wife could have the care she needs. He shared simply, “I have no healthcare because I just can’t afford it.”

And Amy and Robert Dean, foster parents from Texas with six children, have been forced to change doctors every year under Obamacare – a hardship especially for their child with a chronic liver disease. At the White House today, Robert urged “America can and should do better. Our Congress needs to listen to these people and how it’s real Americans that this is affecting.”

As I’ve traveled across America, I’ve heard countless stories like these that show Obamacare is an unbearable burden for American families. This failed law is harming the very people it was supposed to help – including children and the most vulnerable in our society.

The average Obamacare premium has more than doubled in the past four years – and in some states, premiums have more than tripled.

While premiums are soaring, choices are plummeting. A third of American counties, including five whole states, only have one choice of Obamacare coverage – no choice at all. And insurers continue to abandon Obamacare. Virtually every day there’s news of another major insurance company leaving the Obamacare exchange in another state around the country.

But the story of Obamacare’s failure is not a story of statistics. It’s the story of real people and the real hardship placed on the American family. The truth is that Obamacare has failed – and Obamacare must go.

At this very moment, the United States Senate is working on a bill to give us an opportunity to turn the page on the failed policies of Obamacare. This measure builds on the progress made by the House earlier this year.

We’re grateful to Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Paul Ryan, and Republicans in Congress for their work.

President Trump and I strongly support this bill. Our administration is working with the Senate around the clock to get it passed. This is the moment – now is the time. Working with Congress, President Trump will keep our promise to rescue the American people from the nightmare of Obamacare.

As the families who gathered at the White House can attest, like so many Americans across this country, America can’t afford Obamacare any longer. And President Donald Trump will keep fighting every day to give the American people the world-class healthcare they deserve.