On Monday two Republican senators unveiled one of the first ObamaCare replacement bills of the new Congress. They admit it is imperfect but express it as a concrete start to revamp the 2010 healthcare law on a bipartisan basis.
Maine Senator Susan Collins, who introduced the 2017 Patient Freedom Act with Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, a physician and fellow Republican said, “We recognize that our bill is not perfect. We need comprehensive legislation, It’s still a work in progress. But if we don’t start putting specific legislation on the table that can be debated, refined, amended and enacted, then we will fail the American people.”
Other pending alternatives from fellow congressional Republicans, including from Tom Price, Georgia Representative, President Trump’s pick to run the Department of Health and Human Services, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who is also a doctor.
The highlights of the plan are measures allowing states to continue to offer ObamaCare, advising ‘price transparency’ on medical procedures, keeping existing subsidies and tax credits provided in the 2010 law and extending coverage to 30 million more uninsured Americans.
The plan is said to slow or ‘bend’ the cost of such a plan to the federal government. It would allow young adults to stay on their parents’ policies. They proposed their plan would take about three years to be fully implemented.
Cassidy said the bill, particularly the option to stay on ObamaCare, was created with the intent to win support from Senate Democrats, considering at least eight of them will be needed to join the chamber’s 52 Republicans to vote to pass such legislation.
Cassidy said, “We think that gets us to 60.”
President Trump campaigned on promises to promptly repeal and replace ObamaCare.
GOP congressional leaders in the weeks following Trump’s White House victory have hit the pause button. They fear a hasty repeal without a complete replacement plan would leave a probable 20 million Americans uninsured.
Simultaneously repealing and replacing former President Obama’s signature health care law is now favored.
Collins said, “Significant changes are going to have to be made to keep the market from going into a tailspin.”
She was also unsure about the impact of the executive order Trump signed Friday that would ease the regulatory burden of ObamaCare.
She seems to believe that it it is now confusing but will become clearer after a secretary of Health and Human Services is in place.
Cassidy said the joint proposal, like Price’s, includes health savings accounts, which Paul’s also includes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to dismantle ObamaCare on ‘Day One’. He said that congressional Republicans are working with the Trump administration on a repeal and replace strategy and that a new plan would still cover people with pre-existing medical conditions.
The Republican from Kentucky said Trump will be able to undo a lot of it himself and that eight out of ten Americans still want ObamaCare replaced.
He said, “The status quo is not an option.”