In The News: CCHF Quoted in FORBES

 

I write about health care and policies from the president's hometown

 

**Original Article can be found at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2016/12/20/from-the-right-critics-hit-paul-ryans-obamacare-repeal-plan/#35dcb9a07b64**

 

Opposition is mounting from conservatives against Republican efforts to delay any full repeal of the Affordable Care Act from within the ranks of those who have opposed the law for more than six years.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan earlier this month told 60 Minutes that Congress would “work on an orderly transition to replace” Obamacare for 20 million Americans who gained coverage under the law. And President-elect Donald Trump has said people will maintain coverage after the law is repealed and replaced. Meanwhile, other Republicans have floated ideas that the ACA would be repealed first and replaced over a period of years .

But any delay of a repeal or even a repeal linked to a replacement implemented two to four years down the road won’t work for some of the law’s longtime opponents. They want a repeal. Period.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, speaks to members of the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 9, 2016. (Photographer: Aude Guerrucci/Pool via Bloomberg)

“From our perspective, delay is not a repeal,” Twila Brase, president of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, said in an interview. “You can’t wait for the replacement or you will never get the repeal. My concern is we will never have a repeal. ”

In a statement issued Monday, Brase and the council compared “not repealing” Obamacare to “bigger than President Bush’s broken ‘read my lips’ campaign promise.” At the 1988 Republican National Convention, then presidential candidate George H.W. Bush promised to not raise taxes, but once in office as President signed a tax increase. He lost his 1992 re-election bid.

What exactly Republicans and the Trump administration plan to do regarding the ACA is unclear, according to news reports out of Washington and Trump Tower in New York. Some say Republican legislation being written wouldn’t repeal parts of the ACA for four years or longer.

Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn reported last week that Republicans are considering “enacting their replacement piecemeal, with small bills that tackle one part of the healthcare system at a time.” And the New York Times last week said GOP lawmakers are working on legislation that would guarantee “universal access” to coverage.

“We can reassure the American public that the plan they are in right now, the Obamacare plans, will not end on Jan. 20,” U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, a Republican and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told the Times, referring to the date of Trump's inauguration next month.

Republicans are increasingly under pressure from health lobbies who don’t want to see any of the more than 20 million Americans who gained coverage lose it. The ACA provides subsidies for individuals to buy commercial coverage on public exchanges and funding for the expansion of Medicaid coverage for poor Americans. Though insurers have lost money on the individual commercial business, Medicaid has been a boon for Aetna AET +0.02%, Anthem WLP +%, UnitedHealth Group UNH -0.16% and other insurers.

Many health lobbies don’t see the GOP doing anything to end coverage in the next three years. And that’s a problem in the eyes of Obamacare opponents who sees Republicans jeopardizing their Congressional seats in the future without a more immediate Obamacare repeal.

“If an Obamacare repeal takes three years, as some are predicting, it becomes an election issue in 2020,” Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom’s Brase said. “The Republicans who won on it this year stand to lose big if it’s still around in 2020. And Americans stuck in its grip for another four years—or forever—will be the biggest losers of all.”

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