Policy and medical experts are observing that House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “Obamacare 2.0” continues the GOP down the same path of merely “tinkering” with a massive entitlement that Democrats originally created.
Robert Tracinski observes at The Federalist that in presenting their so-called Obamacare “repeal and replace” bill, House Republicans have exposed their “weak spot” once again in a bad attempt to repair a government entitlement program.
“Notice one peculiar thing about the Obamacare debate so far,” he writes. “It’s not really a debate over Obamacare, it’s a debate over Medicaid. That’s because Obamacare mostly turned out to be a big expansion of Medicaid.”
Tracinski continues that the millions of people Democrats claim now have “coverage” for health care due to Obamacare are now on Medicaid.
“But shoving people onto Medicaid is not exactly a great achievement, since it is widely acknowledged to be a lousy program,” he notes, especially since many healthcare providers have left the Medicaid program due to low reimbursement rates, leaving many of those “insured” people with only insurance cards and little actual “access” to real care.
The whole point of repealing Obamacare, as some of us have been arguing, was to break that cycle, to show Democrats they dare not risk losing seats in Congress to push through a big new program, because it can all get dismantled the moment Republicans are back in power. I wish I could say I’m surprised we didn’t break that cycle.
Dr. Gerard Gianoli, of the Louisiana-based Ear and Balance Institute, tells Breitbart News, “The GOP plan is worse than a repeal with no replacement plan at all.”
It will not prevent the death spiral of the insurance industry, which will be now blamed on Republicans, and the march toward a government-controlled, single-payer system will continue. The GOP plan is doomed for failure. Instead of returning the insurance market to the vigor of a free market, the government will be supporting it with tax credits – the flip side of the ACA insurance penalty.
In a column at Fox News, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) map out why Ryan’s “Obamacare Lite” is not acceptable:
Republican leadership wants to keep several variations of ObamaCare:
- Leadership wants to keep ObamaCare-like subsidies to buy insurance but rename them refundable tax credits (families will be given up to $14,000 dollars of other people’s money)
- Leadership wants to keep the ObamaCare Cadillac tax but rename it a tax on the top 10% of people who have the best insurance.
- Leadership wants to keep the individual mandate but instead of mandating a tax penalty to the government they mandate a penalty to the insurance company (can it possibly be Constitutional to mandate a penalty to a private insurance company?)
- Leadership wants to keep $100 billion of the insurance company subsidies from ObamaCare but call them “reinsurance”. (Why? Because insurance companies love guaranteed issue as long as the taxpayer finances it!)
“Conservatives don’t want new taxes, new entitlements and an ‘ObamaCare Lite’ bill,” the congressional leaders say. “If leadership insists on replacing ObamaCare with ObamaCare-lite, no repeal will pass.”
Those on the left, however, oppose Ryan’s plan because they want to continue the Medicaid entitlement expansion of Obamacare and the march to a single-payer system. CNBC’s John Harwood highlights a tweet from Andrey Ostrovsky, MD, the chief medical officer at the Medicaid program, who says he sides with the leftwing AMA, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatricians – all of whom supported President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform – and now oppose its repeal:
chief medical officer at Medicaid program https://t.co/Opby9aKjQg
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) March 9, 2017
— Andrey Ostrovsky, MD (@AndreyOstrovsky) March 9, 2017