Republicans released late Thursday their latest attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare in the form of an amendment nicknamed “skinny repeal.”
The amendment to H.R. 1628, The American Health Care Act, is called Health Care Freedom Act and repeals mandates that required individuals to buy insurance they didn’t want and forced business to provide insurance they could not afford. But, it does not fully repeal Obamacare – not even close.
The amendment does repeal the medical device excise tax and prohibits federal payments to the states from going to any organization that “provides for abortions.”
The amendment also allows individuals to contribute more money to Health Savings Accounts. A positive step towards market-based health care, but much is missing.
While the measure removes the unpopular parts of Obamacare, it does so in a one-sided manner. The mandate that requires people and businesses to buy expensive insurance is gone as is the medical device tax – both are revenue provisions. But, nothing in the proposed amendment does anything on the cost side. Medicaid expansion is still in as are the subsidies to insurers and consumers. The incongruity will lead to an even tighter death spiral for Obamacare with no remedy. Only full repeal would return the American healthcare system to its prior balance.
On the current path, only single-payer, government-run health care will be viewed by the public as a viable option.
It may appear like Republicans are stepping on every landmine laid for them by the progressives. Instead, they are handing the taxpayers to their lobbyists just as fast as anyone on the other side of the aisle.
The amendment is part of a Thursday night, Friday morning news dump so optimism is low that 50 votes will come out of the Senate on the last day before their August recess is set to begin.
Obamacare looks set for collapse and Congress believes that only the government can save us.