March 14, 2015
Section 1332 needs to be amended to narrow the discretion vested in HHS to approve or reject state health-reform plans and grant waivers. It also needs to more explicitly and precisely empower states to enact innovative health reforms, while providing them with the federal funding necessary to implement them.
How? Congress could specify that state waiver applications will be presumptively approved so long as they are deficit-neutral to the federal government. States would then be expected to make adjustments to their plans, as needed, if subsequent experience demonstrates that their coverage or cost goals were not met.
via Lanhee Chen: Why Not 50 Different Affordable Health-Care Plans? – WSJ.
March 10, 2015
Jeb Bush says that Obamacare is a “monstrosity” and wants the government to focus instead on a catastrophic coverage plan to help people who experience costly medical crises.
The potential Republican 2016 presidential contender said that he doesn’t see Obamacare being repealed before President Barack Obama leaves office. But once it is, he wants to see a different plan.
via Jeb Bush talks alternative to Obamacare ‘monstrosity’ – Jennifer Haberkorn – POLITICO.
March 6, 2015
Having the crisis play out in early 2016 rather than the summer of 2015, could mean that Republican members of Congress would take a harder line position. Voters, after all, would be paying more attention to politics given the presidential race. Any Republican who votes to restore the subsidies could risk a primary challenge from an opponent portraying this as a vote to expand Obamacare.
On the other hand, the later timeframe could make the risk-averse Republican Congressional leadership more eager to cut a deal, rather than have a bruising fight spill into a crucial election year for which they have high hopes.
Whatever the case ends up being, for now all we can say is that Alito introduced another wildcard that will keep us guessing until the Court announces its decision.
via Alito's wildcard could shape 2016 | WashingtonExaminer.com.
March 6, 2015
Sasse’s proposal is helpful to the cause of repeal in a number of ways:
First, it takes pressure off of Republican governors and state legislators, many of whom, in the absence of a proposal along these lines, could reliably be counted upon to cave and set up state-based Obamacare exchanges. Such state-based exchanges would prevent people from being left high and dry as a result of a Supreme Court ruling that the Obama administration has been lawlessly paying out the subsidies (through federal exchanges) on which these people are counting. But setting up such state-based exchanges would entail a massive Republican expansion of Obamacare that must be avoided. Sasse’s proposal helps to avoid that.
Second, it wouldn’t “fix” Obamacare. It makes no effort to reform it or make it more market-based. It offers tax credits apart from it to help transition people off of it.
Third, it helps remove the temptation for Republican congressional leaders to negotiate “fixes” to Obamacare with Obama. Such “fixes” are the likely price that congressional leadership would demand in exchange for turning Obamacare’s subsidies back on. But Republicans shouldn’t be in the businesses of “fixing” Obamacare; they should be in the business of repealing it and replacing it with a conservative alternative. Negotiating “fixes” is the worst thing they could do — far worse than turning the subsidies back on temporarily in exchange for nothing. Sasse’s bill helps prevent the “fix it” caucus from taking the lead.
via Sasse Steps Up | The Weekly Standard.
March 6, 2015
Those in Congress who, like me, oppose Obamacare cannot sit by and let the governors twist in the wind. We must help them do the principled thing while helping those most affected by the administration’s illegal actions. We cannot let Obamacare expand geographically by setting up state exchanges, nor can we extend Obamacare’s unlawful subsidies. The former would rubber-stamp Obamacare state-by-state and the latter would baptize the unlawful actions of the Obama administration.
If Congress extends Obamacare by keeping the subsidies, it would be raising taxes by reinstituting the individual mandate for those freed by the Court’s decision and by resurrecting the employer mandate. Governor Bobby Jindal (R., La.) made this point recently on National Review Online when he wrote that “restoring the flow of subsidies means restoring the employer mandate, thus raising taxes.” He is absolutely right that we cannot restore the flow of Obamacare subsidies and the associated taxes and mandates.
via Obamacare: Stay Focused on Full Repeal.
March 6, 2015
The legal campaign to destroy President Obama’s health care law may be nearing its conclusion, but as the Supreme Court deliberates over the law’s fate, the search for a replacement by Republican lawmakers is finally gaining momentum.
Senior Republicans in Congress hope that by June, the Supreme Court will invalidate the subsidies that 7.5 million Americans in 34 states have been given to purchase health insurance through the federal Healthcare.gov website. But the prospects of legal victory have also raised practical and political fears that Republicans will take the blame for the health care crisis that would follow.
via As Supreme Court Weighs Health Law, G.O.P. Plans to Replace It – NYTimes.com.
March 4, 2015
Just a few weeks after Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch and others unveiled a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan and two other House Republican chairmen have also announced the outlines of a proposal with an accompanying op-ed. Ryan is joined by John Kline, chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, and Fred Upton, chairman of Energy and Commerce – all key committees when it comes to health care.
As with the Hatch plan, it is important to focus on the core substance of the proposal and not on the “off-ramp” or “repeal” language accompanying Republican plans. Politics and positioning will shape the language of the health debate over the next several months. That’s Washington. But the real question is this: does the Ryan proposal have ingredients that could be part of a future agreement on the long-term shape of the American health care system? I believe it does.
via As King case begins, Ryan, Kline, and Upton offer an important Obamacare alternative | Brookings Institution.