Weighing Options on Obamacare

Congress reportedly has until September 30th to use the fiscal year 2017 budget reconciliation tool to repeal and replace Obamacare without Democrat support. With this looming deadline, Congressional Republicans are scrambling to form a healthcare bill that will get 50 senators to “yes”.

Last week, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) unveiled a 140-page bill to modify Obamacare. For the bill to receive sufficient floor consideration prior to the September 30th deadline, two things would probably have to happen first: 1) The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has to complete and release its cost estimate of the bill; and 2) the bill must go through the so-called “Byrd bath” (an evaluation by the Senate parliamentarian to remove extraneous provisions and comply with Senate budget rules).

The Heritage Foundation said a previous version of Graham-Cassidy incorporated a number of important provisions but ultimately “falls short of fully repealing Obamacare and replacing” the law, in part because “it doesn’t repeal all of Obamacare’s taxes” and “takes policy in the wrong direction by spending the money from the Obamacare taxes on a new welfare block-grant program to states.”

Heritage Action released the following statement from chief executive officer Michael A. Needham last week:

“Heritage Action looks forward to reviewing the newly released text and appreciates the senators’ efforts to keep the debate over Obamacare’s future front and center. Based on what we know right now, Graham-Cassidy would make some improvements over the status quo but it would not actually deliver on the Republicans’ seven-year campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“As we have said from the beginning, the key question is whether any proposal actually addresses Obamacare’s regulatory architecture. Any reforms that maintain the law’s onerous federal regulations will ensure networks continue to narrow, premiums continue to rise, and choice continues to decline.”

While the long term implications of passing Graham-Cassidy on the overall fight for conservative healthcare solutions remains unclear, one thing is 100% clear in the short term: the bill does not and would not repeal Obamacare. The Graham-Cassidy proposal, however, is likely better than simply maintaining the status quo. It would establish a waiver system that would increase state flexibility and alleviate some federal regulations imposed by Obamacare. Heritage Action will continue to fight for meaningful, conservative reforms to healthcare that address the failures of Obamacare. In the meantime, conservatives should continue to oppose any efforts to simply bailout Obamacare without any meaningful reforms.  


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In 3 Charts, the Biggest Revelations From New Obamacare Study

By Rachel del Guidice, Reporter for The Daily Signal Health care costs continue to rise under Obamacare. A report released Tuesday by the Department of Health and Human Services shows a significant hike in the average cost of individual plans since 2013 in 39 states. In 2013, the average annual…

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Key Takeaways From CBO Score of the Republican Health Care Bill

By Drew Gonshorowski, Heritage Foundation Senior Policy Analyst in Simulations The Congressional Budget Office updated its score of the House-passed American Health Care Act this week, prior to its being sent over to the Senate. This budgetary analysis projects that if passed into law, the bill would reduce the number of insured…

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Video: Why Washington Hates Trump’s Budget

The Trump Administration released its budget proposal this week. Watch the video below to learn more about Trump's plan to cut spending and unleash economic growth.…

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9 Key Takeaways From Trump’s First Budget

By Justin Bogie, Heritage Foundation Senior Policy Analyst in Fiscal Affairs & Salim Furth, Heritage Foundation Research Fellow in Macroeconomics & Adam Michel, Heritage Foundation Policy Analyst Two months after unveiling his “skinny budget,” President Donald Trump officially submitted his completed budget to Congress. The proposal sends a strong message to…

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Sentinel Doctor Legislative Strategy Call 05/23/17

Yesterday, conservatives working in the health care industry all came together for our monthly Doctor Legislative Strategy Call. During the call, we heard from Wesley Coopersmith – Policy Manager at Heritage Action.  Wesley walked through updates on the amended American Health Care Act as the Senate continues its work on the bill. If you…

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Trump Budget Puts Taxpayers First

Washington — This morning, the Trump Administration unveiled its FY 2018 budget proposal called “A New Foundation for American Greatness.” The budget includes $3.6 trillion in spending reductions while prioritizing much-needed defense funding. And while the budget does not include much-needed structural reforms to Medicare and Social Security’s retirement program,…

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Here’s What’s in Trump’s ‘Taxpayers First’ Federal Budget

By Fred Lucas, White House Correspondent for The Daily Signal The Trump administration will respect taxpayers, balance the budget, return the country to 3 percent economic growth, and push a parental leave requirement in its fiscal plan to be released Tuesday, said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney…

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The Major Entitlement Overhaul That Could Be Part of Trump’s Budget

By Fred Lucas, White House Correspondent for The Daily Signal President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, to be rolled out Tuesday, likely will include Medicaid reform. But with several approaches having been floated, definitive answers will have to wait until the White House releases the fiscal plan. During his Senate confirmation hearings…

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