Jan 3 2017
10:15 pm

Informative article. At least it is for me ...

From CNN ...

It's not just for the 20 million people who have health insurance through the individual Obamacare exchanges or Medicaid expansion.

Under Obamacare, senior citizens pay less for Medicare coverage and for their prescription drugs. Many Americans have received free contraceptives, mammograms, colonoscopies and cholesterol tests. And small business employees with older and sicker workers have not been slapped with super-high premiums

Repealing Obamacare affects everyone

Somebody's picture


Marsha Blackburn was interviewed on NPR this morning. When asked about whether she expected that the GOP would keep things that are in the ACA like letting young adults stay on their parents' policies and prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting conditions, Blackburn had a very interesting response. She began explaining how at the beginning of all this, the Democrats had originally wanted a public option, etc., and the Republicans came to the table with ideas like the aforementioned popular aspects of the ACA, so of course they would work to keep those things. She also said something kind of unclear about letting the states handle the Medicaid portion of the problem for lower-income people.

Never mind the past six years' constant denials from Republicans that Obamacare was totally based on their own Heritage Foundation plan and previously piloted in Mitt Romney's Massachusetts. It appears that they may be preparing to re-tool their amnesia, remembering that all the "good parts" were their ideas anyway, and forgetting six years' insistence that there were no good parts to Obamacare and they had nothing to do with it.

So it may be that "Repeal and Replace" turns out to be more of a "Rename and Rebrand."

It will be interesting to see the rhetorical gymnastics they will employ to keep the individual mandate. This of course was another component of the Heritage Foundation plan, which is mathematically necessary to accomplish the desirable preexisting condition component. You will recall they went all the way to the Supreme Court and lost in an effort to kill the individual mandate. Presumably they will now repeal the high injustice of Obamacare's "individual mandate" requirement that everyone buy health insurance, and replace it with a "personal responsibility" requirement that everyone buy health insurance.

B Harmon's picture


This is what I have been hoping for and it is the best possible outcome with this current Congress. They can tweak the law then call it their own. We know that they are masters at spinning the truth and their faithful will never question anything they are fed. I hope it is no longer called "obamacare" because that is the biggest part of the program (I know it is the ACA, but we have to get Obama's signature off the program to save it). However, it will be interesting watching the contortions they will have to perform to get to the final version.

jbr's picture

What’s in a Name? Obamacare May Not Have Been Such a Hot One

“Most people’s perception that this law has destroyed the health system or whatever is completely based on their political perceptions of it.”

Perhaps ironically, more Americans than ever support the reforms made by the Affordable Care Act, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday. Of those polled, 45 percent say the law was a good idea, and finds 50 percent doubt the Republicans could come up with anything better.

What’s in a Name? Obamacare May Not Have Been Such a Hot One

jbr's picture

Repealing Obamacare could cost 3 million jobs, study finds

from CNN ...

...research suggests that repealing two major provisions of Obamacare without replacing them right away could cost the nation 3 million jobs and trigger negative economic impacts that would extend far beyond the health care industry.

That means state and local governments wouldn't be able to collect as much in tax revenue. The report estimates the fallout could be about $48 billion of forgone tax revenue over the course of five years.

Repealing Obamacare could cost 3 million jobs, study finds

jbr's picture

Republican Obamacare fan hopes Trump's stance softens

CNN ...

So Ruscoe took notice when the Affordable Care Act began making news.

"I thought it was a good idea, even though I'm a conservative," he said. "It's a social program, but a lot of social programs are for the good. And this is one of them."

The moment the website went live, he was online, ready to sign up. It had been several years since he'd been insured, and he remembers the relief that came over him.

"It's the feeling of coming out of the rain, if you will," he said. "You can do all you can to get healthy. You try to be safe. But there's a certain amount of fate that's just out there."

Republican Obamacare fan hopes Trump's stance softens

R. Neal's picture

Also see Sandra Clark's

Also see Sandra Clark's column...


LEMAY's picture

I called Duncan's office this week

And had a rather lengthy conversation with his healthcare "specialist" and basically, they have NO answers. Her biggest plug was "crossing state lines" which took me all of 15 seconds to dismantle. The other 'winner' was tweaking the savings plan, which is fine, but does absolutely nothing to really help our healthcare problem. I was appalled. They have nothing.

She admitted they were considering keeping several of the positive provisions and when I asked her why then, are they repealing and tried to repeal 60 times, when in reality, all they will be doing is amending? She didn't have an answer. The whole conversation pissed me off so bad, I finally ended it.

I encourage everyone to call his office. Put these people on the spot because what they are doing affects every one of us. If you have health insurance, the pre existing condition, the cap and the 26 yr. old child provision is ALL a part of Obamacare, among other things. What they do hits all of us.

Somebody's picture

The dog that caught the car, and other metaphors.

The GOP is scrambling because really the only major thing they didn't like about Obamacare was Obama. All the previous repeal votes were purely for the purpose of pandering. They knew the repeal votes up to now would go nowhere, so they never had to propose any replacement.

Now they're in control, and they know a simple vote (like the 60 or so previously taken) to repeal the law would immediately have a negative effect on millions of people, and they would lose Congress in two years and the White House in four.

So now, what they really want to do is hold a symbolic repeal vote right away, but not have it actually take effect for two to four years, giving them time to tinker with amendments to tweak and improve the law. Then they re-brand it as Trump Care or Ryan Care or whatever. To his credit, President Obama says he's fine with that. He just wants people to have access to affordable healthcare. (This is also evidence that Obama plays three-dimensional chess with people who think they're playing checkers.)

Ah, but now the GOP has a big problem. There's a burnt-orange fly in the ointment. A narcissistic bull in the China shop. A humor-impaired guy who loudly repeats a joke without ever really getting it. Trump says he wants the law completely repealed and replaced within a couple of weeks.

It is as though he's looking over Paul Ryan's shoulder at a pair of twos and boisterously announcing that Ryan won't be trading for three from the deck, but will be going "all in."

How long do you think it will be before a Hill Republican quietly leaks incriminating intel about Trump and the Russians?

jbr's picture

Out of touch with reality


from nbcnews.com ...

Trump would like Obamacare repealed within days and contended that "the replace will be very quickly or simultaneously, very shortly thereafter," he told the New York Times in an interview Tuesday. "Long to me would be weeks," Trump added.

Trump's Call For 'Quick' Obamacare Replacement Complicates GOP Efforts

Trump Tells G.O.P. to Replace Health Care Law ‘Quickly’

Bad Bosses

fischbobber's picture

You break it you buy it.

One thing that happened this election is that the RNC and DNC have effectively moved to block any progressive voices from coming into play on this overhaul. Clinton and Trump supporters both will turn on Sanders supporters in a heartbeat like rabid dogs when universal healthcare is even suggested, despite the fact that virtually every poll has Sanders and his plan the across the board favorite by the majority of Americans. Write it down, put it in a pipe and smoke it, but the new plan will be more profit friendly to insurance corporations at the expense of the health of American citizens.

Those in power have succeeded in dividing the opposition.

jbr's picture

Insurers and Obamacare replacement

One of the biggest issues is the individual mandate, which requires nearly all Americans to buy insurance or pay a penalty. If Republican lawmakers repeal the mandate without a replacement plan, insurers said they'd "seriously consider" withdrawing from the market next year, the Urban Institute report said. They see "significant" risks in remaining while the details of a replacement bill are in doubt.

"Health insurance only works when everyone is covered: those who utilize insurance to obtain quality care, as well as those who are healthy but have insurance to protect them in case they get sick," the association wrote. "Both types of consumers must be insured for coverage to remain affordable."

Insurers warn: We're outta here with no Obamacare replacement

jbr's picture

Obamacare ads ceased days before sign-up deadline?

According to CNBC ...

The Trump administration has reportedly killed media ads designed to encourage people to enroll in insurance coverage through the federal Obamacare marketplace before next Tuesday's open-enrollment deadline.

'Sabotage' : Trump administration reportedly kills Obamacare ads for HealthCare.gov with less than week to go in open enrollment

Former Obamacare executive: Here's why Trump killed enrollment ads for HealthCare.gov

Up Goose Creek's picture


Interesting that this move will provide more publicity than almost any amount of ads. Free publicity, too.

jbr's picture

Americans Fear They’ll Lose Coverage With Obamacare Repeal: Poll

What is the point of repeal if you are going to replace it? Just modify it.

A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that 56 percent of U.S. adults are "extremely" or "very" concerned that many will lose health insurance if the health overhaul is repealed. That includes more than 8 in 10 Democrats, nearly half of independents, and more than 1 in 5 Republicans. Another 45 percent of Republicans say they're "somewhat" concerned.

Americans Fear They’ll Lose Coverage With Obamacare Repeal: Poll

jbr's picture

Recording reveals GOP in chaos over Obamacare

Make thoughtful, reasonable adjustments to it like level headed adults, and drop the repeal stuff. Waste of time, energy and money.

Audio recording reveals GOP in chaos over Obamacare

B Harmon's picture


From here on out, we can call the replacement to the ACA that congressional republicans create "RepubliCare". It will carry the names of those that create it, whatever it will be.

If they insist on breaking the ACA, let them live with the consequences in 2020.

Use this in all social media, make it go viral.

jbr's picture

Doctors Make the Case for Obamacare or Something Like It

the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), who visited half a dozen senators Thursday.

The AAP, American Academy of Family Physicians, ACOG, American College of Physicians, and the American Osteopathic Association have a road map for lawmakers.

"We urge Congress and the new administration to preserve essential coverage, benefits and consumer protections as established by current law, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA); we also acknowledge the need for additional reforms and improvements to address continued barriers to care and ensure a health care system optimized for patients and their physicians," they said.

Doctors Make the Case for Obamacare or Something Like It

jbr's picture

Constituents Give GOP Reps an Earful About Obamacare

Angry constituents confronted Republican lawmakers at separate town halls in California and Florida, fearful of the GOP promise to repeal former President Barack Obama's health care law without a comprehensive alternative.

In California, Rep. Tom McClintock faced tough questions on Saturday about health care and President Donald Trump's agenda and had to be escorted by police after his hour-long event. Protesters followed him, shouting "Shame on you!"

Constituents Give GOP Reps an Earful About Obamacare

jbr's picture

The actuarial firm Milliman

The actuarial firm Milliman estimated that if insurers were allowed to charge older people five times more than young ones, adults in their 20s would see their annual premiums drop by $696 — 15 percent — to $4,008 next year.

But those savings would pale next to the added burdens on older people, Milliman said. Those in their 60s would see average annual premiums rise by 22 percent, growing by $3,192 to $17,916, according to Milliman's projections, which were commissioned by AARP. That lobbying group for older Americans opposes loosening the age rules. A study last year by the Rand Corp. for the Commonwealth Fund, a New York foundation, projected up to 29 percent premium increases.

GOP Health Insurance Fix Could Raise Premiums For Older Patients

R. Neal's picture

They don't get the whole idea

They don't get the whole idea of insurance.

bizgrrl's picture

Where were these people

Where were these people before the election?

jbr's picture

Pre-exisiting conditions insurance relegated by age?

Blackburn ....

She said the replacement will include provisions allowing people of certain age groups with pre-existing conditions to get insurance.

Anger Rises Across The Country At GOP Congressional Town Halls

jbr's picture

GOP Draft Health Care Bill Cuts Medicaid, Insurance Subsidies

The bill dismantles some major components of the ACA, including the expansion of Medicaid and the subsidies to purchase health insurance.

In its place, Americans who need assistance to purchase health care will receive a tax credit - able to be received in advanced on a monthly basis - based on age. A person under 30 is eligible for a $2000 tax credit while a person over 60 is eligible for a $4000 credit.

As for Medicaid, Republicans propose placing a cap on the number of Medicaid recipients in each state based on population, which would likely largely reduce the 72 million Americans currently receiving the benefit for low-income people. The current Medicaid expansion allows coverage for people based on income. The transition begins in 2020 and then instates a multi-year phase out - a timeline that might be problematic for some conservative members.

GOP Draft Health Care Bill Cuts Medicaid, Insurance Subsidies

jbr's picture

GOP draft of Obamacare repeal plan, a lot could lose coverage

A draft of the House Republicans' bill to repeal Obamacare would replace its subsidies with less generous tax credits, increase the amount insurers could charge older Americans and effectively eliminate Medicaid for low-income adults.

These provisions could leave a significant share of the 20 million people who gained coverage under Obamacare without insurance. The proposal would go fully into effect in 2020.

Under GOP draft of Obamacare repeal plan, a lot of people could lose coverage

bizgrrl's picture

This could be very, very bad.

This could be very, very bad.

bizgrrl's picture

From Politico, here is a copy

From Politico, here is a copy of the draft legislation.

I hate it when they cite changes to a paragraph without showing the complete paragraph before and after.

jbr's picture

Republican governors on Obamacare repeal: Not so fast

It's becoming ever clearer that what happens to Obamacare will not be decided solely in Washington D.C. Thousands of people are attending lawmakers' town halls around the country to defend the Affordable Care Act, while others are demanding their representatives give them a voice in the discussion.

Mayors are also jumping into the fray. A bipartisan group of more than 100 mayors sent a letter to Congress this week with their wish list, which includes continuing protection for those with pre-existing conditions and maintaining free preventative care. They also oppose turning Medicaid into a block grant program, a big part of the GOP's plan that would send a fixed amount of funding to the states to cover their low-income residents.

Republican governors on Obamacare repeal: Not so fast

jbr's picture

Let's do something, even if it's wrong

I am certain there are folks that know it is complicated. He should utilize their knowledge.

"Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject," he added. "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."

OK. What about the folks being insured?

During a meeting with health insurers, Trump said a replacement plan would be unveiled soon.

Trump: 'Nobody knew health care could be so complicated'

fischbobber's picture

Correction, Donald.

Wrong. Everybody but you knew that healthcare could be so complicated. Dumbass.

R. Neal's picture

Presidenting is hard!

Presidenting is hard!

jbr's picture

Republicans' Obamacare replacement bill: The winners and losers

It will be interesting what the CBO analysis is.

You don't want a republican in charge of life boats of a sinking ship.

The most glaring weakness of the GOP bill is that it will likely leave millions uninsured, experts said. Republican lawmakers have repeatedly skirted that question, but reviews of preliminary drafts by the Congressional Budget Office confirmed the problem, sources said.

Republican health bill winner and loser

bizgrrl's picture

American Health Care Act, the

American Health Care Act, the legislation calls for:

providing refundable tax credits based on a person's age and income. Older Americans could have to pay more. Enrollees in their 50s and early 60s benefited from Obamacare because insurers could only charge them three times more than younger policy holders. The GOP changes that to five times more than younger policy holders. Adults ages 60 to 64 would see their annual premiums soar 22%. Those in their 50s would be hit with a 13% increase.

It keeps the Obamacare protections for those with pre-existing conditions, but...

it allows insurers to levy a 30% surcharge for a year on the premiums of those who let their coverage lapse.

It lifts the taxes that Obamacare had imposed on the wealthy, insurers and prescription drug manufacturers. Nearly everyone in the Top 1%, who earn more than $774,000 a year, would enjoy a hefty tax cut, averaging $33,000, according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. Insurance companies could get a big tax break. Obamacare allowed insurance companies to deduct only $500,000 of their executives' pay as a business expense. The GOP bill would repeal that limitation, starting in 2018.

And it loosens or removes several of the health reform law's strict insurance reforms so that carriers can offer a wider -- and some say skimpier -- suite of policies.

Eliminates the enhanced federal match for Medicaid expansion starting in 2020 and revamps the funding for the entire Medicaid program, by sending states a fixed amount of money per enrollee, known as a per-capita cap. This would limit federal responsibility, shifting that burden to the states. However, since states don't have the money to make up the difference, they would likely either reduce eligibility, curtail benefits or cut provider payments.

bizgrrl's picture

From the New York Times:The

From the New York Times:

The requirement for larger employers to offer coverage to their full-time employees would also be eliminated.

Republicans did not offer any estimate of how much their plan would cost, or how many people would gain or lose insurance. The two House committees plan to vote on the legislation without having estimates of its cost from the Congressional Budget Office, the official scorekeeper on Capitol Hill.

jbr's picture

GOP's Obamacare replacement plan would lower taxes for the rich

The legislation, unveiled on Monday, would eliminate two surcharges on the rich that are being levied to help pay for Obamacare subsidies and other provisions. The taxes would end after this year.

Under the Affordable Care Act, single taxpayers with incomes above $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000 annually have had to pay an additional 0.9% Medicare payroll tax on the amount they earn above these thresholds. These taxpayers may also be hit with a tax surcharge of 3.8% on investment income above those thresholds. These taxes have been in place since 2013.

Ending Obamacare would mean that nearly everyone in the Top 1% who earn more than $774,000 a year, would enjoy a hefty tax cut, averaging $33,000, according to a report published in December by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. Those in the Top 0.1% would get an average tax cut of about $197,000.

The bill also contains other benefits for those with money.

GOP's Obamacare replacement plan would lower taxes for the rich

jbr's picture

AARP comes out against House GOP health care bill

"This bill would weaken Medicare's fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64 and put at risk the health care of millions of children and adults with disabilities, and poor seniors who depend on the Medicaid program for long-term services and supports and other benefits," said the letter, signed by Joyce A. Rogers, a senior vice president at AARP.

AARP comes out against House GOP health care bill

jbr's picture

Republican health care plan ...

from Buzzfeed ...

The Republican plan to replace Obamacare includes a tax break for insurance company executives making over $500,000 per year.

The Republican Health Care Plan Includes A Tax Break For Insurance CEOs

from CBS ...

Repeals 10 percent sales tax on indoor tanning.

House Republicans unveil plan for health care overhaul

jbr's picture

How House bill would change the ACA

jbr's picture

Trump Voters Would Be Hit Hardest By Health Care Replacement

Rural communities tend to have fewer insurers, less competition and higher rates.

The tax credits proposed in the House bill are flat, meaning that a 60-year-old earning $40,000 would get the same tax credit regardless of where he or she lives — $4,000.

Under the Affordable Care Act, subsidies are determined by a formula that considers income and the local cost of coverage. That can make a real difference, particularly for those living in swing states.

In Las Vegas, that same 60-year-old would qualify for an annual federal subsidy of $4,380, according to the KFF report. But in rural Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, the available federal subsidy is $11,150.

The net impact: In Northumberland, where Trump won 69 percent of the vote, that 60-year-old could be paying $7,150 more for health insurance under the new House Bill. In Clark County, Nevada (home of Las Vegas), which Hillary Clinton won with 52 percent of the vote, the same person would pay $380 more.

Trump Voters Would Be Hit Hardest By Health Care Replacement Plan

jbr's picture

Employer-Backed Insurance Could Take a Hit from GOP Healthcare

"Part of that net reduction in employment-based coverage would occur because fewer employees would take up the offer of such coverage in the absence of the individual mandate penalties," the CBO report says. "[O]ver time, fewer employers would offer health insurance to their workers."

Employer-Backed Insurance Could Take a Huge Hit from GOP Healthcare Plan

jbr's picture

Obamacare is not in ‘death spiral’

Wendell Potter is part of panel discussing Obamacare and Trumpcare ...
Obamacare is not in ‘death spiral’

jbr's picture

Obamacare is not in ‘death spiral’

Wendell Potter is part of panel discussing Obamacare and Trumpcare ...

...and the poor folks in Tennessee will just get really screwed...The fingerprints of my former colleagues in the insurance industry are just all over this bill.

Obamacare is not in ‘death spiral’

jbr's picture

Junk health insurance Stingy plans may be worse than none at all

"Junk insurance" may make a comeback

It might seem to be health insurance, if you don’t look too closely, and most people don’t. The premiums are surprisingly affordable. And so millions of unemployed people, service industry workers, and those taken in by fast-talking telemarketers sign up. They may think they’re insured—until they have a medical problem and find out that their coverage is as skimpy as a hospital gown.

Junk health insurance Stingy plans may be worse than none at all

The Real Story Behind the Phony Canceled Health Insurance Scandal

jbr's picture

Documentary on fixing healthcare

bizgrrl's picture

Alexander is on Obamacare

Alexander is on Obamacare even though he is eligible for Medicare?

R. Neal's picture

Not sure that's even legal.

Not sure that's even legal.

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