Third time’s a harm

The Huffington Post has the outline of yet another Republican healthcare deal:

he deal, brokered between House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Tuesday Group co-chairman Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), would allow states to get waivers eliminating the so-called community rating provision ― the rule that prohibits insurers from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions. In order to obtain the waiver, states would have to participate in a federal high-risk pool or establish their own, and satisfy some other conditions.

In exchange for that conservative concession, the amendment would reinstate the Essential Health Benefits that were already taken out of the bill ― though, again, states could waive those provisions as well if they were able to show that doing so would lower premiums, increase the number of people insured, or “advance another benefit to the public interest in the state.”

What does this mean?

It’s a punt. It is an attempt to make this problem someone else’s problem. If it passes the House, it is either the Senate’s problem where this proposal will die due to either a Byrd bath or the lack of votes (my rough guess is there might be 44 votes for this in the Senate with maximum arm twisting) or it becomes the problem of the states.

On a policy level it would allow some states to effectively restore the 2009 status quo of skimpy, underwritten individual policies and massively underfunded high cost risk pools. In those states, people with pre-exisiting conditions will be harmed.

I don’t think this will actually pass. We have received some new information in the past couple of weeks that makes any concession to the House Freedom Caucus a non-starter.

We also saw one of the true Republican unknowns come out against the core of the AHCA this week. Rep. Denham (R-CA-10) sits in a district that Hillary Clinton won by 3 points in 2016. Here is what he said in the LA Times this week:

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) said Monday night that he wouldn’t support his party’s healthcare legislation unless it left significant parts of Obamacare intact.

“I’ve expressed to leadership that I’m a ‘no’ on the healthcare vote until it is responsive to my community,” he said during a town hall meeting with hundreds of voters in his district.

“There are things in the Affordable Care Act we expect to stay,” Denham added, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and expanded Medicaid coverage.

The original AHCA was losing votes on the extreme right because it was not restorative of 2009 status quo fast and hard enough. It was also losing votes on the Republican left flank because it was way too punishing of pre-exisiting conditions and Medicaid expansion. This bill does nothing to change the Medicaid component. It will lose a significant portion of the Tuesday Morning Group as all the information that they are seeing is that they are going to get be the first ones whacked as they vote for bills that harm their constituents and mobilizes opposition.

It also means that we need to get back on the phone and call our Representatives in the House again.

19 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    My Rep say’s the same thing every time: “Bless your heart, now please go fuck yourself.”

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Thanks for keeping us updated Mayhew.
    These sociopaths never stop

  3. 3
    kindness says:

    Dehman is my Congressman. I wouldn’t trust anything he says. He’d sell his grandmother.

  4. 4
    Tony W says:

    Turns out the ACA is pretty darn popular. Obama is looking very smart about now.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @kindness:

    He’d sell his grandmother.

    Do you know how much he wants? I’m in the market if the price is right.

  6. 6
    mai naem mobile says:

    There’s several GOP governors who want the ACA,like my otherwise douchebag Governor Ducey. He’s a Kochwhore who see himself as POTUS in the next decade or so.

  7. 7
    MomSense says:

    The GOP will not rest until we are all dead.

    I’m calling on my lunchbreak today.

  8. 8
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    Would this be considered budget neutral so they could do that bullshit 50 votes thing in the senate?

  9. 9

    @LurkerNoLonger: Yes, it still qualifies as a reconciliation item on budget grounds.

    It fails miserably on the Byrd rules for germaneness, so anything that gets out of the House is dead the moment it is given to the Senate. Anything out the of the Senate will be sui-generis

  10. 10
    JGabriel says:

    David Anderson @ Top:

    states could waive those provisions as well if they were able to show that doing so would lower premiums, increase the number of people insured, or “advance another benefit to the public interest in the state.”

    What does this mean?

    I don’t know about the rest of it, not being an insurance expert, but – from long experience with Republicans – I’m fairly confident that “states could waive those provisions as well if they were able to show that doing so would … ‘advance another benefit to the public interest in the state’” means they can do whatever they want as long as it makes rich people richer.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    @David Anderson: Phew. Well that’s some relief.

  13. 13
    Mike J says:

    The most important part of the “plan” is that people will be talking about it as if it has a chance to pass. Trump’s 100 day milestone is coming up and if people are talking about health care, the devastating blow out loss doesn’t count.

  14. 14
    rikyrah says:

    @Dupe70:

    is he related to Gloria Allred?

  15. 15
    randy khan says:

    Regardless of what chances this might have in the Senate, it’s important to kill it dead as early as possible. I’d suggest cranking up the messaging right away on it.

  16. 16
    Jeffro says:

    @randy khan:

    Regardless of what chances this might have in the Senate, it’s important to kill it dead as early as possible. I’d suggest cranking up the messaging right away on it.

    Seconded! We need to remind our reps that “coverage for pre-existing conditions” isn’t coverage (or the blessed “access” the Rs keep trying to call it) if it costs a crazy amount of money.

    Call call call

  17. 17
    Ransom says:

    But where’s the “keep fucking that chicken” tag?!? Seriously, keep it up shitheads. If they keep at this they are not spending their time doing something that might actually do harm. Plus it just serves to keep anyone from forgetting what they stand for.

  18. 18
    Another Scott says:

    @David Anderson: Is Reconciliation really still in play? Has the House met its deadlines?

    E.g.

    April 15 – Congress completes action on the concurrent resolution on the budget.

    Did that happen??

    WashingtonTimes (Don’t click!!) (from April 18):

    “There’s progress being made, and I’m very hopeful still that the next three weeks we can get that done,” he said.

    Mr. Duffy cited the timeline of about a month because of budget rules Republicans want to use to pass [“some kind of legislation related to health care”] legislation.

    “I think tax reform will get done if we get health care done,” he said. “If health care doesn’t get done, you’re not going to see tax reform done because you can’t use budget reconciliation.”

    House Republicans pulled legislation repealing parts of Obamacare from floor consideration late last month after it became clear the bill couldn’t pass at that point.

    So, to answer my own question, Reconciliation isn’t dead quite yet, but it looks like it will either get done or die by ~ Mid-May.

    tick tock.

    Keep fighting, everyone.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ransom:

    If they keep at this they are not spending their time doing something that might actually do harm.

    Alas, unlike Trump, Ryan and Mcconnell can walk and kick poor people at the same time.

Comments are closed.