Republicans Dismiss Temporary Healthcare Subsidy Fix
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
By executive order, Trump ended federal healthcare subsidies for low-income households, wanting Obamacare wrecked, part of Washington’s war on social justice.
In fiscal year 2017, Washington paid around $7 billion to insurers for subsidies, according the the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Ending them assures skyrocketing insurance premiums, making them more unaffordable than already for low-income households, leaving millions of people uninsured in case of serious illnesses or injuries.
Trump’s EO showed contempt for low-income Americans struggling to make ends meet, increasing numbers having to choose between medical treatment when needed or paying rent and other household expenses.
On Tuesday, Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray said they agreed on a temporary bipartisan fix to fund healthcare subsidies for two years, giving states more flexibility on handling ACA coverage without changing its required benefits or letting insurers discriminate against individuals with preexisting conditions, Alexander saying:
“Senator Murray and I have an agreement. We’re going to round up co-sponsors as best we can.”
“In my view, this agreement avoids chaos, and I don’t know a Democrat or a Republican who benefits from chaos.”
Later “we can have a full-fledged debate on where we go longterm on healthcare.”
Trump tried having things both ways, saying “(i)t’ll get us over this intermediate hump…a short-term solution so that we don’t have this very dangerous little period.”
Separately, he said “a different kind of fix is needed. I continue to believe Congress must find a solution to the Obamacare mess instead of providing bailouts to insurance companies.”
He then tweeted: “Any increase in ObamaCare premiums is the fault of the Democrats for giving us a ‘product’ that never had a chance of working.”
Something is better than nothing but not enough. Republicans appear dismissive, declining to endorse the bipartisan proposal, so far not explicitly opposing it.
Republican Study Committee head Rep. Mark Walker, a pastor turned politician, blasted the idea, tweeting:
“The GOP should focus on repealing & replacing Obamacare, not trying to save it. This bailout is unacceptable.”
He likely prays to the money god, not the almighty.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissively said “(w)e haven’t had a chance to think about the way forward yet.”
Undemocratic Dems like the plan. No House and Senate Republicans endorsed it, other than Alexander, its proponent jointly with Murray.
It appears dead in the water unless something changes.
It avoids the only acceptable solution – universal coverage for everyone, an idea most congressional members reject, supporting marketplace medicine over a fundamental human right.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”