Monday, May 4, 2015

House Passes G.O.P. Budget Aiming to Repeal Health Law

Somewhat earlier than expected, Republican lawmakers are setting in place an economic plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. 

Merely repealing the ACA is not an option. Careful budget planning and presenting a replacement plan is essential to not disrupting health insurance for millions of  Americans. 

Disassembly of a questionable affordable care act will be challenging. Measurements of it's success or failure extend beyond simple numbers of enrollees, or the remaining number of remaining uninsured.

The House on Thursday adopted a compromise Republican budget that aims to repeal the Affordable Care Act

The 226-to-197 vote sends the nonbinding budget plan to the Senate for a vote next week. The joint House-Senate blueprint promises to balance the budget in nine years through more than $5 trillion in spending cuts, though Republicans have made clear that they are not interested in actually imposing large cuts to programs like Medicare, food stamps, Pell Grants or Medicaid with follow-up legislation.
Under congressional procedures, lawmakers first adopt a budget that is essentially a visionary document, and follow it up with binding legislation to set agency budgets, cut or raise taxes, and make changes to so-called mandatory programs like Medicare and food stamps, whose budgets run as if on autopilot.

The GOP budget plan for health insurance is part and parcel of a greater plan to secure Medicare, But Democrats say the Republican plan unfairly targets the middle class and the poor while leaving in place lucrative tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.

The White House budget director, Shaun Donovan, dissected the measure in a blog post, pointing out $600 billion in cuts from “income security” programs like nutrition assistance, cash assistance to low-income older people and to people with disabilities, and refundable tax credits for the working poor.

Republicans are focused mostly on delivering legislation to President Obama that would repeal the bulk of his signature health care law. Successful action on the budget plan would permit a health care repeal to advance through the Senate without the threat of a Democratic filibuster. Mr. Obama is sure to veto the measure, which is scheduled to advance by late July.

This proposed legislaton occur almost simultaneously with Dr. Ben Carson announcing his bid for the Presidency in 2016. A key point of his platform is to repeal the Affordable Care Act, often called "Obamacare".


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