Thursday, April 27, 2017

Think approval of GOP plans to replace Obamacare is at 17%? Watch it sink lower.

Are you listening to what the GOP Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives is saying? They claim the compromise on replacing Obamacare to which they agree is better because it will bring down cost of premiums.The problem is that they remove the funding sources and still millions will lose their coverage or being stuck with junk insurance.   Here is how they reduce the premiums: : permit states to remove essential benefits, increase the cost of premiums to those with pre-existing conditions (and putting them in a high risk pool) and those over 50. All of this is so that they can remove the Obamacare taxes on the top 2% and certain medical devises to the tune of $600 billion, (all figures are over the next ten years) and end Medicaid expansion. What the Freedom Caucus did was to agree to keep the form of Obamacare for now ,contrary to their campaign pledge last November to repeal Obamacare in its total.    

 The Medicaid expansion adopted by 2/3 of states provided health insurance to those who had too high of income to qualify for traditional Medicaid, but not enough to afford any premiums. This would recreate that gap for the nearly poor. It could cost Colorado taxpayers $15 billion to make up the difference of those losing coverage. And once again, the GOP does not plan to have the Congressional Budget Office to estimate the impact and cost because "the CBO is only right part of the time" . Give us a break. So it will be wrong for sure on this one? It is the only official estimate out there, but they are afraid to let voters know the truth because the public approval of the GOP plan (AHCA) may sink below 17% which it is now...especially when so many voters learn how many will still lose their affordable insurance or benefits.
That Ryan/Trump decided to go through with both continued attempt to go forward at the same time that the GOP was attempting to keep the government open and avoid a shutdown was probably not wise.  The GOP tried to put the onus on the Democrats, claiming the Democrats were  about using the threat of a government shutdown as a bargaining chip over  the GOP Obamacare replacement plan. Nancy Pelosi, House minority leader, denied this and rightfully pointed out that the Democrats did not have enough House members to affect the shutdown issue. .In any case,  the AHCA  compromise vote was being delayed by House leadership  until later.  GOP House leadership probably counted their votes and realized that if a vote were held now, the Trump/GOP compromise would go down on flames because more moderates had shifted their support from "yes" to "no".  The compromise was even worse than the original GOP plan.

. The  President and House leadership bowing to the Freedom Caucus and the Freedom Caucus "compromise"making the original bill even worse by making all benefits optional and controlled by separate States lost more votes from the GOP moderates who saw their own political future in jeopardy in 2018, having to face an angry electorate.  What no one seems to have calculated in Washington is that public opinion shifted away from repeal and replace to retain and repair as more realized and got educated about the benefits of Obamacare  they were going to lose.  This shift in opinion was  thanks to the  media exposure on the Congressional debate and the marches and sign waiving town halls.   Even Colorado's GOP Representative Mike Coffman who had supported the original AHCA now said he would vote no on the compromise.

Also factoring into the moderate House GOP members' fleeing the compromise AHCA, was that any vote would be on the record, yet the chances that their bill could pass the Senate would  only be unlikely.  In other words, in order to try to keep a campaign promise that now has become very unpopular with more and has little chance to become law, the House members "are walking the plank", committing political suicide in order to stubbornly stick by a campaign promise when the public mood had changed  The GOP has a much smaller margin in the Senate and one third of them will be facing an electorate whose opinion of Obamacare had shifted dramatically since November.  

The longer a vote on the AHCA is delayed, the more opposition to it  will grow  and we can depend on the Resistance and Individual movements continue to  making sure the public gets educated.

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