The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill today to repeal and replace ObamaCare.The bill, named the American Health Care Act, passed by a vote of 217-213. It is not a perfect bill, but it is a first step in stopping the collapse of ObamaCare and the descent into a government-controlled single-payer system. When President Obama gave us ObamaCare, the Democrats knew it would fail–the law ignored the statistics of the actuarial tables that keep the insurance agencies in business. There was no way it could succeed. The goal was to create an entitlement that would collapse and then institute a single-payer government plan. If Hillary Clinton had been elected, that would have happened. Instead, we have a President Trump who believes in free markets.
The Daily Signal posted an article about the passage of the bill today.
The article details some of the amendments to the bill:
New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur’s amendment would give the secretary of health and human services the authority to grant a waiver to states that wanted an exemption from costly Obamacare rating rules and benefit mandates.
In order to secure a waiver from these federal insurance rules, the amendment specifies that states must establish a high-risk pool for persons with pre-existing conditions, a program to stabilize the those premiums, or participate in a new federal risk-sharing program designed to secure continuing coverage and market stability.
As drafted, the waiver from these federal regulations would be virtually automatic. In short, the states would make the key regulatory decisions over benefits and rating rules.
A second amendment, offered by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) adds $8 billion over 2018-2023 to the bill’s $130 billion Patient and State Stability Fund (making the total around $138 billion).
It specifies that those additional funds are to be used by states that have received a waiver from federal insurance rules (under the MacArthur Amendment) to assist individuals with increased healthcare costs.
A Good Foundation
The House’s action should be understood as part of a continuing process of national health reform.
As amended, the House bill rightly focuses on costly health insurance rules, makes historic changes in Medicaid—transforming Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a budgeted program—and repeals the national health law’s mandate penalties and its slew of taxes.
In fact, the House bill provides for one of the largest tax reductions on record.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a beginning. Twenty Republicans voted against the healthcare bill. All the Democrats voted against the bill. It would be nice if Congress stopped playing politics and worrying about campaign donations and elections and simply tried to do what was best for America.