2018: What’s Next for Obamacare

Obamacare Here Sign Joe Raedle Getty
Joe Raedle/Getty

After the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate, many still wonder whether Republicans can repeal Obamacare in 2018.

Here’s what’s next for Obamacare in 2018.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Obamacare mandated that Americans who forgo health insurance would have to pay $695 or 2.5 percent of their income, whichever is larger. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) found that 80 percent of those who pay the Obamacare mandate fine make less than $50,000 a year, making the mandate’s repeal a huge middle-class tax cut.

Even though Republicans repealed the individual mandate, much of the Affordable Care Act remains intact. Obamacare still requires employers with businesses with more than 50 or more full-time employees still have to provide their full-time employees health insurance, regardless of the cost to the business.

The Affordable Care Act also expanded Medicaid to virtually every American under age 65 with incomes up to 138 percent above the federal poverty level. The federal government funded 100 percent of each states’ Medicaid population from 2014 to 2016. However, the federal government will wind down the federal contribution percentage to 90 percent by 2020 and beyond, adding a significant financial burden to state governments.

The Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate, effective in 2019. On Thanksgiving, President Donald Trump promised to return to Obamacare repeal after passing historic tax reform legislation.

President Trump tweeted on Thanksgiving, “ObamaCare premiums are going up, up, up, just as I have been predicting for two years. ObamaCare is OWNED by the Democrats, and it is a disaster. But do not worry. Even though the Dems want to Obstruct, we will Repeal & Replace right after Tax Cuts!”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, argued on Thursday after passing tax reform that Republicans should move on from trying to repeal Obamacare. McConnell admitted that “We’ll probably move on to other issues” after failing to repeal Obamacare on multiple occasions.

“Well, we obviously were unable to completely repeal and replace with a 52-48 Senate,” McConnell told NPR. “We’ll have to take a look at what that looks like with a 51-49 Senate. But I think we’ll probably move on to other issues.”

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) suggested that after Republicans passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act they might revisit their Graham-Cassidy Obamacare block-grant repeal legislation.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) revealed in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News that he continues to work with Vice President Mike Pence and the White House on the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare block-grant repeal legislation.

Graham told Breitbart News, “My goal for 2018” is to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The Graham-Cassidy Obamacare block-grant repeal legislation nearly passed through the Senate. The bill would repeal Obamacare’s employer mandate, several Obamacare taxes, and block-grant money to the states so that conservative states can design more free-market alternatives to the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s a sin not to show the same passion with repealing Obamacare which they did to pass it. They voted on Christmas Eve to pass it,” Graham said.

Graham concluded, “The one unpardonable sin is not trying as hard to repeal and replace Obamacare as they did to pass it.”


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