Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle appear to have given up on a single repeal, repeal and replace or a repair bill for Obama’s troubled health care law.
Members of the Senate are pushing several tactical approaches to fix Obamacare: regulatory changes, short-term legislative fixes and a change in how health care is funded by the federal government.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) told Fox News that he hoped that Health and Human Secretary Tom Price would be able to affect real changes by crafting regulations for the 1400+ spots in Obamacare where HHS has the latitude to make changes.
“If there is any way that they can be better for families, more economical, more competitive – so hopefully we’ll see that begin to happen and have impact,” Blunt said.
Although quick and free from the encumbrances of Congress, regulatory changes can be changed or undone by the next Secretary of HHS which could lead to more uncertainty in an already shaky health care system.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is betting on the “HELP” committee, which oversees health care reform, to make short-term changes in the law to benefit families. This approach is likely to be rife with political grandstanding and brinksmanship, but if the focus can be kept small, perhaps something will come from it.
Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is pushing his own proposal that would move more health care funding to the states.
“Four states get forty percent of the money, New York, California, Massachusetts, and Maryland,” Graham said Friday in an interview. “My block grant approach takes the money we’d spend here in Washington, sends it back to the states in a more equitable fashion.”
The Senate failed to pass a single bill on health care reform before adjourning for the August Recess. Pressure from constituents at home during the break may have many of them coming back willing to give it one more try.