Republican lawmakers hold on to hope of repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood, despite President Barack Obama’s veto Friday of a bill to do just that, at least in part.
“Because of the harm this bill would cause to the health and financial security of millions of Americans, it has earned my veto,” Obama said in a prepared statement.
This legislation would not only repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, but would reverse the significant progress we have made in improving health care in America. The Affordable Care Act includes a set of fairer rules and stronger consumer protections that have made health care coverage more affordable, more attainable, and more patient centered. And it is working.
House Speaker Paul Ryan insisted it is “just a matter of time” before lawmakers repeal and replace Obamacare.
“The idea that Obamacare is the law of the land for good is a myth. This law will collapse under its own weight, or it will be repealed,” Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement Friday.
Republicans used a fast-track process called reconciliation to get the bill, called the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, to Obama’s desk without a filibuster by Senate Democrats.
It included a one-year halt to taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, in the wake of a scandal over the sale of the body parts of aborted babies.
“It’s no surprise that someone named Obama vetoed a bill repealing Obamacare,” Ryan said. “But we will hold a vote to override this veto, taking this process all the way to the end under the Constitution.”
A two-thirds vote by both the House and Senate is needed to override a presidential veto, and analysts consider that a high bar since Democrats are united behind the president. Republicans’ goal was to put a repeal bill on his desk anyway, as they had promised voters.
“The president’s decision to keep #Obamacare in place is bad for America,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted. “The House will vote to override his veto Jan. 26.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tweeted: “Instead of throwing 17 million Americans off of health insurance, we should be expanding on the Affordable Care Act.”
“It is now our task to craft a new solution that will lower costs and improve access to care for all,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores, R-Texas, said in a prepared statement. “We can only do that by restoring power to individuals and families—not federal bureaucrats—that should be in charge of their own health care decisions.”
Other GOP lawmakers also commented on the president’s veto.
“I’m disappointed that the president continues to ignore families and small businesses who have been hurt by the painful effects of Obamacare, from rising costs, to losing access to doctors, to hampering businesses’ abilities to hire new employees,” Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said.
— Bob Goodlatte (@RepGoodlatte) January 8, 2016
“With his veto, President Obama has single-handedly denied the American people the relief they seek from a law that is driving up the cost of health care, while driving down the quality,” Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said.
“While no one will be surprised by the president’s decision, many Americans will continue to be harmed by it.”
— Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) January 8, 2016
“All is not lost,” Rep.Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., said. “We have shown there is a clear path to repealing this broken law. There is a path to an affordable health care system the people want and deserve. We will continue to work towards patient-centered reform and I am hopeful we can send a repeal bill next year to a president who respects the will of the people and will sign this into law.”
Shame on POTUS for ignoring Americans & vetoing #ObamaCareRepeal bill. Americans deserve to have control over their healthcare, not fed gov.
— Dennis Ross (@RepDennisRoss) January 8, 2016
“The silver lining here is that we now have a path forward to get rid of Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood once a different president is in the White House,” Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., said. “The American people have now seen the path toward two very different Americas, and voters will have a clear choice in November.”
Our Promise: Repeal Obamacare. Obama's (broken) promise: If you like your health care, you can keep it. We kept our promise. #OnHisDesk
— CathyMcMorrisRodgers (@cathymcmorris) January 8, 2016
The post Obama Vetoes Bill Repealing Affordable Care Act as Lawmakers Vow Override Votes appeared first on The Daily Signal.
The agency charged with overseeing implementation of the Affordable Care Act could not guarantee tax credits under the law went solely to Obamacare enrollees who had paid their premiums, government inspectors discovered.
A report released Wednesday said that in 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services relied on health insurers to confirm payments based on the tax credits were accurately doled out without an independent system to verify or audit the determinations.
The inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, the parent agency, concluded that “federal funds may be at risk” without an effective system to ensure the payments to confirmed Obamacare enrollees were correct.
The Affordable Care Act provides the tax credits to help low-income enrollees pay their monthly premiums. In 2014, insurers managed nearly $11 billion in tax credits, according to a Treasury Department report.
Instead of conducting its own analysis, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services depended on insurers to determine how much money the agency should give to the health care companies in tax credits, causing “a risk that funds were authorized for payment” in incorrect amounts, the audit found.
Ed Haislmaier, a senior research fellow in health policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, said it was unlikely insurers deliberately committed fraud. The error may have been a fault of the Obamacare enrollment website, he said.
While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services largely fixed the front end of the website so that it looks functional to consumers, Haislmaier said, the Obama administration “jury-rigged” the back end in 2014 and is still working to build out the rest of it. He said:
It’s like a movie set where you have the façade of a building propped up in the back by 2-by-4s, but when the person walks to the door there’s no real room back there because the rest of the building hasn’t been built—that’s what’s going on.
The Obama administration is replacing the enrollment system with an automated, policy-based payment process this month, which the report said should rectify some of the issues.
But Haislmaier said that until the “half-built” website is completed and fully functional, errors will continue to occur.
He said he government likely would continue to give consumers incorrect information on tax credit qualifications and payments.
The post Obamacare Agency Put Taxpayer Money ‘at Risk,’ Inspector General Says appeared first on The Daily Signal.
For the first time, Congressional Republicans sent a bill repealing key provisions of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law to his desk.
Following the upper chamber’s lead, the House passed a reconciliation bill, 240-181, repealing measures of Obamacare and placing a one-year moratorium on federal funding for Planned Parenthood this evening. The Senate passed the same bill last month.
The legislation now heads to the White House, where the president will veto it.
>>> Scroll to the bottom to see how your member of Congress voted.
“We are confronting the president with the hard, honest truth: Obamacare doesn’t work. Higher premiums and fewer choices and restricted access—these are not signs of success,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said during a press conference today. “Obamacare is not successful. They are the signs of failure. And the American people deserve better.”
Though House and Senate Republicans are well aware the legislation is dead-on-arrival once it gets to the White House, they say it forces the president to explain why he continues to support the law when many Americans face higher premiums and deductibles, and have been forced to choose new plans despite Obama’s assurances to the contrary.
“Any time that you make someone in elected office take a stance, it’s extremely valuable because the American people don’t watch too much until then,” Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M. told reporters at the monthly event Conversations with Conservatives today. He continued:
So [Obama] will absolutely say, ‘I refuse to understand that you as Americans are hurting because of this bill, that you’re losing your jobs, some of you have been cut back to part time … many of you now have lost the insurance that you’ve spent decades preparing for your family, and I, as the president of the United States, am going to tell you forget it, I’m going to veto it.’ I think that’s extraordinarily valuable in the political circumstances.
In using reconciliation to repeal the health care law, conservative lawmakers also say it sets the stage for 2017, when a new president and Congress can use today’s vote as the precedent for repealing Obamacare using reconciliation once again.
“This sets us up very well for the election,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., said today, “but most importantly, in making certain that the strongest country in the world has the strongest health care system in the world that’s based on free-market principles, not just something put out by a bunch of bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, D.C.”
House Republicans have voted to repeal Obamacare more than 50 times, but the reconciliation bill passed last month marked the first time the Senate approved such legislation since the law’s implementation.
Reconciliation is a budget tool used in the Senate that allows a bill to pass with just 51 votes, avoiding a Democratic filibuster in the upper chamber.
The bill passed by the House today repeals the individual and employer mandates, Medicaid expansion, tax credits, medical device tax and Cadillac tax. It also strips the government of its authority to run Obamacare’s exchanges and lessens the fine for failing to comply with the mandates to $0.
The House passed a different version of the reconciliation bill in October, which left in place the Medicaid expansion and tax credits. The original legislation was met with skepticism from conservative senators, who originally said they couldn’t support a bill that left those provisions in place.
Not only did Republicans kick off 2016 with a vote to repeal Obamacare, Ryan promised last month his colleagues would unveil a plan to replace the health care law this year.
Conservatives view the reconciliation bill as a crucial step in reassuring the American people they are prepared to present them with an alternative.
“I think we want to make absolutely clear that Republicans in Congress have put together a plan to replace Obamacare. People are hurting,” Huelskamp said. “…We’ve voted dozens and dozens of times to repeal, and finally it’ll make his desk, and now it’s time to get to the hard work of setting the stage for actually fixing health care problems.”
See how your member of Congress voted on the bill below.
The post Find Out How Your Member of Congress Voted on a Bill Repealing Obamacare appeared first on The Daily Signal.
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