President Trump then called on ALL Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work together, but just how they work together to resolve this disaster of Obamacare is a big issue.
A few strong Conservatives are speaking out against any plan shy of the Senate’s 2015 repeal bill. Conservatives like Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz, have been very active on social media and critical of the Speaker Ryan’s new bill called “Obamacare-Lite”.
The disagreement on the repeal of Obamacare is Sen. Ted Cruz’s first major congressional battle since Donald Trump became President.
Sen. Cruz stated,
“We should focus on areas of consensus that bring Republicans together,” Cruz told Fox News this week. “I’m working very, very hard to try to bring my colleagues together in both the Senate and House with the administration to fulfill the promise to the American people.”
Republicans have 52 senators and will need 51 to pass the bill that will start dismantling the ACA. That means consensus building and votes from Senators Lee, Paul, and Cruz will all be vital to the approval of the new bill.
In a recent article entitled “The Right Way to Repeal Obamacare” in Politico Magazine, published on March 2, Sen. Ted Cruz wrote:
“Is Obamacare Republicans’ Waterloo?” … It’s the narrative increasingly being pushed by the media, and starting to become conventional wisdom in Washington.
My response? What the press doesn’t understand is that Obamacare, in practice, has proven to be a disaster, and it’s hurting millions of people. We’ve had three elections that focused on Obamacare repeal, 2010, 2014 and 2016. All three were massive victories for Republicans. If that’s Waterloo, we could use a few more of them.
Sen. Cruz then shared two overarching principles, three concrete steps and six areas of consensus.
Two overarching principles
First principle: Honor our promise. When you spend six years promising, “If only we get elected, we’ll repeal Obamacare,” you cannot renege on that promise. Failure is not an option. Breaking our word would be catastrophe. The voters would, quite rightly, never again trust Republicans to deliver on anything.
The second principle is don’t make it worse. The Pottery Barn rule applies: If you break it, you own it. Democrats broke health care: Since Obamacare passed, millions of people have had their plans cancelled; average family premiums on employer-sponsored plans have risen by about $5,000; and average family deductibles on the individual market have also risen $5,000. Consumers are paying more for less, and that’s hurting a lot of families. Republicans can’t make it worse; instead, we’ve got to fix the problem.
Three concrete steps
First, begin with the 2015 repeal language. Senate Democrats have made clear that they will filibuster any attempts to repeal Obamacare, so the only way to get it done is to use a procedural vehicle that can’t be filibustered. Budget reconciliation—a special procedure that by statute requires only 51 votes to clear the Senate—fits the bill. The hurdle is that budget reconciliation is governed by complicated procedural rules; only legislation that is budgetary in nature is permissible. And it is the Senate parliamentarian who typically decides whether a given proposal is allowed on reconciliation.
In 2015, Congress passed language on reconciliation repealing most of Obamacare. Virtually every Republican in Congress voted for that language, and the parliamentarian has already ruled it as permissible. We should begin with that previously approved repeal language as the baseline.
Second, repeal the insurance regulations as well. In 2015, these coverage mandates of Obamacare were excluded from the repeal language. The parliamentarian never ruled on whether including them would be permissible on reconciliation. But we’ve got to repeal those mandates. Why? The single biggest factor driving popular dissatisfaction with Obamacare is skyrocketing premiums.And the insurance mandates are the biggest factor driving those premiums. If we “repeal” Obamacare, and leave the insurance mandates in place, the premiums paid by families will remain sky-high. And that’s unacceptable—voters would rightly deem repeal a farce if we don’t actually drive premiums down to where they’re affordable again.
Can we get the mandates repealed on reconciliation? The answer is yes: The mandates are driving up federal expenditures by billions, and so should properly be deemed budgetary in nature. But if the parliamentarian disagrees, the vice president has the statutory and constitutional authority (as does the Senate majority) to rule to the contrary. And that’s exactly what should happen, if necessary.
Third, we should focus on areas of consensus among Republicans. Don’t try to replace one 2,000-page monstrosity with another. Instead, adopt common-sense specific reforms that will increase competition, drive down costs, expand choices and put patients back in charge of their health care.
Six areas of consensus
First, we should allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines. This would create a true 50-state marketplace, driving down costs for everyone. If California wants to mandate that every California insurance company must offer only top-of-the-line comprehensive coverage—driving up premium costs by thousands of dollars—then California consumers should also be able to buy insurance licensed in other states, without the mandates.
Second, we should expand health savings accounts so that consumers can save on a tax-advantaged basis for more ordinary health insurance expenses.
Third, we should change the tax laws to make health insurance portable, so that if you lose you job you don’t lose your health insurance. You don’t lose your car insurance or life insurance or house insurance if you lose your job; you shouldn’t lose your health insurance either. And that would go a long way to addressing the problem of pre-existing conditions, since much of that problem stems from people losing their jobs and then not being able to get new coverage on the individual market.
Fourth, we should protect continuous coverage. If you have coverage, and you get sick or injured, your health insurance company shouldn’t be able to cancel your policy or jack up your premiums. That’s the whole point of health insurance.
Fifth, we should allow small businesses to pool together in association plans to get better rates for their employees. And we should allow states to create high-risk pools or pursue other innovative solutions to insure that the most vulnerable among us have access to affordable health care.
Sixth, we should block grant Medicaid to the states. Right now, Medicaid works terribly: very few doctors, long waiting lists and markedly worse health outcomes than for those on private insurance. Much of that is driven by one-size-fits-all federal rules, forced on every state. Instead, we should allow states to innovate with creative solutions to help produce far better health results.
Those six ideas enjoy virtual unanimity among Republicans who now control both Congress and the White House. They bring all of us together. They don’t replace one massive federal entitlement that isn’t working with another massive federal program with the same failings.
If just these three Senators – Cruz, Lee and Paul – vote against the “Obamacare-Lite” bill, the repeal bill would would be sunk.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) responded to the “Obamacare-Lite” plan on Twitter,
There is nothing conservative about a plan that ultimately amounts to a new entitlement program and a new tax increase.
Senator Cruz is solid on his plan – “The Right Way to Repeal Obamacare.” We should start with all six areas of consensus. What’s wrong with starting with a base of what people can agree on first?
One thing we can all agree on, is that Obamacare is a disaster. Everything we were promised has been a lie. Democrats broke the healthcare system and they own it!
On the other hand, Republicans promised to repeal and replace Obamacare. Sen. Cruz is right, many Republicans were reelected on this promise they made to their constituents. If the Republicans fail to follow through on THAT…it would be a HUGE mistake. If the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare is not honored, Republicans could risk losing seats.
Cruz is also right when he states, BOTH the language and the insurance regulations need to be repealed. It’s not enough to create another bad plan or “Obamacare-Lite,” which the Republicans would own.
In addition, make healthcare available across all states. Expand the healthcare savings. Make healthcare insurance portable and protect Americans with continuous coverage. Those are areas most Americans would agree upon and gladly welcome.
If you need to find consensus on issues like pooling resources for small businesses and Medicaid, well then, Congress should work it out! No one said it was going to be easy, afterall, we all know… Obamacare is ONE BIG DISASTER! Even disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and floods leave some remnants behind. Obamacare most likely will too.
“Our citizens deserve this, and so much more — so why not join forces and finally get the job done, and get it done right? …”unite for the good of our country and for the good of the American people.”
Amen! Work TOGETHER and DO YOUR JOBS!
For those who missed the original “Obamacare summed up in one sentence.” spoken by a dear friend of mine, Dr. Barbara Bellar. Here’s a nice short video of hers that went VIRAL with over 9 million viewers:
Nancy Hayes is a Digital Media Specialist and Conservative, Grassroots Activist.
Over the past 6 years - she has worked on 31 campaigns nationwide. She has been involved in several key elections, including Ted Cruz for President and Herman Cain for President. She has served in such positions as Social Media Specialist, Phone Bank Director, State Director of Volunteers, and Grassroots Activist.
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